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PM's dishonesty over SAS exposed

Simon Power National Defence Spokesperson

23rd February 2003

PM's dishonesty over SAS exposed

Revelations over Government plans for the SAS show how much the Prime Minister has kept secret from the public, says National's Defence spokesperson Simon Power.

According to official documents the Government had decided as early as 31st July last year to withdraw the SAS from Afghanistan in December.

"As late as November the Government still claimed there were no plans to withdraw troops. The New Zealand public deserve to be able to trust the Prime Minister on issues like this.

"While respecting the safety concerns around SAS operations, the Prime Minister shouldn't be leading the public to believe one thing when the reality is quite different.

"There are still strong anti-war factions in the Labour caucus. It seems an important reason why Helen Clark was so secretive was to keep her own caucus in the dark," said Mr Power.

Ends

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