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Benson-Pope's deceit laid bare

Judith Collins MP National Party Welfare Spokeswoman

07 December 2005

Benson-Pope's deceit laid bare

National Party Welfare spokeswoman Judith Collins is repeating her calls for David Benson-Pope to resign, after he claimed in Parliament that he instructed his press secretary to tell the truth if asked about the source of material leaked to a Sunday newspaper.

"If, as Mr Benson-Pope has claimed today, he instructed his press secretary to tell the truth if asked about the source of the leak, did he bother to leak at all?

"The claim doesn't hold water.

"If Mr Benson-Pope had instructed his press secretary to be truthful, why did he not agree to have the leaked material attributed to his office in the first instance?

"Instead, Mr Benson Pope was quoted as having refused to comment.

"How is that not misleading?"

Ms Collins is also questioning how Mr Benson Pope can now be in both the camp that does not remember the alleged tennis ball incident and the group that doesn't think it happened at all.

"It's one or the other. You either can't remember OR you don't think it happened, which is it?

"Mr Benson-Pope is dancing on the head of a pin. The media commentary today suggests he no longer has the complete trust of his colleagues, and he certainly no longer enjoys the trust of New Zealanders.

"Accepted Ministerial standards of the Clark Government have sunk to new lows. Sooner or later, Mr Benson-Pope must provide a proper explanation for his attempt to manipulate public opinion through the selective release of favourable material from the police report," says Ms Collins.

ENDS

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