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Dunne tells Benson-Pope to grow up

Wednesday, 30 June 2004

Dunne tells Benson-Pope to grow up

United Future leader Peter Dunne today called on the junior Labour Cabinet Minister, David Benson-Pope, to ‘grow up and join the adults’ in the debate over the Civil Union Bill and the Relationships (Statutory Amendments) Bill.

“Mr Benson-Pope has seen fit today to describe the two bills as inextricably linked and to talk about lightbulbs going off in the heads of MP’s who oppose them

“He has said previously that those who oppose the Civil Unions Bill are bigoted and homophobic.

“To Mr Benson-Pope, it would seem, all those who hold a different view from him are to be dismissed as narrow minded idiots,” said Mr Dunne.

“These Bills are controversial and arouse strong feelings among MPs and the wider public.

“Mr Benson-Pope's arrogant, childish attacks on the motives of other MP’s who have a different view from him are unworthy of the level of debate that surrounds these very serious issues of civil unions and discrimination.

"As the Minister in charge of these Bills Mr Benson-Pope ought to be conducting himself with a measure of restraint and dignity, especially since Parliament is treating both Bills as conscience measures.

"If Mr Benson-Pope cannot curb his snide attacks on those who hold a different view to him on these controversial Bills, then he should aside from his responsibilities, so that these controversial matters can proceed with the respect and tolerance the Prime Minister called for on Monday.

"If Mr Benson-Pope's behaviour does not improve, I will be asking the Prime Minister to replace him with a Minister who will display the respect and tolerance she herself wants,” said Mr Dunne.


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