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Does PM Accept Benson-Pope's Word?

Does PM Accept Benson-Pope's Word?

Rodney Hide Monday,
12 December 2005
Press Releases - Other

ACT Leader Rodney Hide said today that Prime Minister Helen Clark must state whether she still accepts the word of her Social Development and Employment Minister, David Benson-Pope.

"Back on 17 May, Prime Minister Helen Clark had no qualms about accepting her Minister's word," Mr Hide said.

"The Prime Minister told National Radio's Morning Report that David Benson-Pope, 'has assured me that he has used corporal punishment in line with school policies in the past and refutes the allegations' that he assaulted a student by tying his hands to the desk and jamming a tennis ball into his mouth. She said, 'I accept the Minister's word. The Minister has given his word in Parliament'.

"But since then the Police have completed the report that Prime Minister Helen Clark instigated, and found 'Evidentially there is sufficient evidence to say that this incident did occur and Philip WEAVER did have a tennis ball put in his mouth and his hands taped to the desk'. David Benson-Pope himself is now no longer prepared to repeat his denials and refutations in Parliament.

"I don't believe that the Prime Minister can still accept Mr Benson- Pope's word, and his presence in Cabinet and in Parliament just shows that under Helen Clark there are no standards - just Helen Clark maintaining her power at any cost," concluded Rodney Hide.


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