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Explain the full story, Don

Explain the full story, Don

Labour MP Pete Hodgson said Don Brash’s apology over Smear-gate is a shallow exercise in damage limitation.

“Last night on TV1’s Close Up, Don Brash was asked if he would apologise. He said he would not. Then today, suddenly, he has apologised. This is another flip flop.

“This is simply an attempt to shift the focus from the scale and scope of the National Party’s involvement with the Exclusive Brethren. It is clear there is involvement by the Brethren at all levels of National’s campaign, so it is not credible for Brash and his senior management team to claim they had no knowledge of the plans.

“For example: National’s campaign Manager Stephen Joyce has admitted Exclusive Brethren are working on some electorate campaigns. There are reports from all around the country of National Party material being delivered by Exclusive Brethrens and vice versa. There are allegations of telephone canvassing and push polling being undertaken by Exclusive Brethrens on behalf of the National Party. There are also suggestions that National MPs are being funded by the group.

“If Brash is serious about not misleading the public, he should come clean and admit the Party has been working closely with the Exclusive Brethren for months. It is not good enough to say, ‘I don’t know’. It is his responsibility to find out and give the public the full answers.

“This is not a story about the rights and wrongs of the Exclusive Brethrens’ involvement. That is their democratic right.

“This is a story about a scandal, a denial, a cover-up, a lie, a belated apology, another flip flop, and a whole lot of unanswered questions. Don Brash’s credibility is in tatters. He needs to now answer the questions he is attempting to deflect.”

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