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Speaker Rejects Privileges Complaint

10 May 2002

Jim Anderton says a complaint against him to Parliament’s privileges committee was another example of the Opposition wasting public resources on a sleaze campaign.

Parliament’s Speaker has rejected the complaint by National’s little-known Christchurch MP Gerry Brownlee

“In recent months National and Act have complained to the privileges committee about me twice, to the Police at least once, to the Securities Commission, to the Commerce Commission, to the Electoral Commission and to the Audit Office repeatedly. All of their complaints have been rejected,” Jim Anderton said.

“National and Act are wasting the time of public agencies for their own political games.

“The rejection of Mr Brownlee’s complaint refutes the suggestion that Alliance MPs have jumped ship. All Alliance MPs will remain Alliance MPs until the next election, in keeping with the letter and the spirit of their commitments. The rejection of Mr Brownlee’s complaint seals the issue.

Meanwhile Jim Anderton has made public a letter to the Speaker. It confirms that all Alliance MPs intend to remain as Alliance MPs until the election, and that Jim Anderton has the confidence of a majority of MPs as Parliamentary Leader.

“For the record, I reiterate the constitutional law and parliamentary custom defended by this House and its predecessors for centuries, that no action by an outside body or person can remove an elected Member of Parliament from the House, other than by law,” the letter says.

“No MP has resigned their parliamentary party membership, or sought recognition with a new party in the House. No one has acted or voted to distort the proportionality of the House set at the general election.”

Ends

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