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Clark can't keep her foot from her mouth

Clark can't keep her foot from her mouth

National Party Leader Bill English is calling on Helen Clark to explain what appears to be another diplomatic insult fired at our traditional allies.

"The Prime Minister just can't resist the temptation to interfere in the politics of other nations," says Mr English.

He's commenting on remarks published in the New Zealand Herald about an invitation from Tony Blair for Helen Clark to attend a June meeting of centre-left leaders.

Responding to a question on the meeting Helen Clark's been quoted as saying 'providing Tony's still there and everything's on track I will go'.

"But instead of clarifying what she means, she's lashed out," says Mr English.

"She told Radio Pacific this morning that 'this is just malice from the Herald' and that 'the Herald is determined to put the worst line on absolutely everything I've said'.

"It comes after last week's claim that people are usually in no doubt what she means," says Mr English.

"But the Prime Minister can not continue to shrug off this criticism, because our key allies will be watching very carefully.

"Her job is to protect our national interest, not act like a political commentator as Phil Goff has described her.

"And this latest blunder has a strong connection with her Al Gore gaffe," notes Mr English.

"The material she used to question the leadership of George Bush had been previously used by Robin Cook when resigning because of Tony Blair's position on the war.

"So now we know it's not just other people's paintings that she's claiming as her own.

"The Prime Minister can not afford to be so careless and it's clear she's doing New Zealand no favours on the world stage," says Mr English.

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