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See no evil, hear no evil

Judith Collins MP National Party Families Spokeswoman

05 May 2005

See no evil, hear no evil

National Party Families spokeswoman Judith Collins says Steve Maharey has today admitted he did not warn Rajen Prasad against paying out a secret golden handshake - despite knowing about the breakdown at the top of the Families Commission for more than a month.

"Steve Maharey now admits he first found out about the breakdown of relations in late February.

"In mid-April he claims to have found out about the secret golden handshake, which had already been signed, sealed and delivered.

"So at no stage, in the time between finding out about the problems and then the handshake, did he warn Mr Prasad against secret payouts.

"Surely, if Labour was serious about cracking down on the so-called 'culture of extravagance' Mr Maharey would have made it clear to the Commissioner that a golden handshake was not acceptable.

"Mr Maharey did not. He has failed in his responsibilities as a Minister and as a guardian of the public purse.

"Mr Maharey has been staunch in his defence of Mr Prasad, today being quoted as saying 'you can't fault Raj'.

"Clearly, as the public are now discovering, Mr Maharey was in this up to his eyeballs," says Ms Collins.

ENDS

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