PM Should Sack Alliance MPs In Cabinet
6 May 2002
National is calling on the Prime Minister to explain why she is allowing Jim Anderton and his supporters to remain in her Cabinet while they flout the intent of the Electoral Integrity Act.
Shadow Leader of the House Gerry Brownlee has written to Helen Clark seeking clarification on a number of questions over the meltdown of the Alliance and the emergence of Jim Anderton's new political vehicle the Progressive Coalition Party.
"Everyone knows Jim Anderton and his supporters have left the Alliance Party and therefore are morally bound to leave Parliament." Mr Brownlee says his letter centres around the parliamentary status of the six MPs who have been expelled from the Alliance Party, but continue to flout the intent of the electoral integrity law by remaining in parliament.
"Among the questions asked is how the Prime Minister intends applying provisions in the Cabinet Manual to the four expelled Alliance members of the Executive -Deputy Prime Minister Jim Anderton, Conservation Minister Sandra Lee, Corrections Minister Matt Robson and Under Secretary John Wright.
"The Electoral Integrity Act should mean that these four members, along with Phillida Bunkle and Grant Gillon, must resign from Parliament. Their actions call into question their legitimacy to be in Parliament. "While the Speaker cannot act because these members have circumvented the law by not writing and informing him of their expulsion from the Alliance, the Prime Minister can act by removing the four expelled Alliance members from the Executive.
"I know that Cabinet Manual Rules are not set in stone. But to so eschew the conventions of its venerable lineage in allowing Mr Anderton, Ms Lee, Mr Robson and Mr Wright to continue to hold office chops savagely at the constitutional arrangements of this country.
"Ms Clark cannot put her political interests ahead of constitutional moves and the integrity of our democracy," Mr Brownlee concluded. Ends