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PM's integrity questioned after Corngate memos

Hon Bill English MP National Party Leader

28 August 2003

PM's integrity questioned after Corngate memos

National Party Leader Bill English is slamming the Government and United Future move to block a call for Helen Clark to give evidence to the select committee investigating 'Corngate'.

"United Future and the Government have denied the public of New Zealand the opportunity to get the full story from all the major players.

"The National Party raised questions yesterday that prove beyond reasonable doubt that the Prime Minister's office deliberately withheld information from scrutiny, even after Helen Clark stated publicly there would be 'full disclosure'.

"Senior officials were involved in a cover-up on the biggest issue of the election campaign and Helen Clark has to explain how it happened because she is responsible.

"This cynical manipulation of the electoral process may have affected the balance of power," says Mr English.

"Helen Clark's office, and now the Government members on that select committee, have denied the public the opportunity to make up their own minds.

"The Opposition has been left asking what Helen Clark has to hide?

"It's clear Helen Clark was more involved in 'Corngate' during the election campaign than she's publicly admitted - the timing did not suit her.

"To protect the integrity of her position, Helen Clark now needs to be completely open and tell New Zealand whether there are any other 'Corngate' issues that need clarification, otherwise we'll do it for her," says Mr English.

Ends

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