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Last straw for Benson-Pope

Judith Collins MP
National Party Welfare Spokeswoman

14 December 2005

Last straw for Benson-Pope

“How many chances is Helen Clark going to give David Benson-Pope?” asks National Party Welfare spokeswoman Judith Collins.

She is commenting on Mr Benson-Pope’s latest retraction, delivered to Parliament late last night after earlier denying he had spoken to Helen Clark about the now-infamous police report.

“We knew that was a falsehood as soon as he denied it in Parliament. It’s just too cute, some six hours later, to say he did not understand the question.

“We can only assume the ninth floor of the Beehive instructed him to change his story because it made Helen Clark look bad.

“Now that Mr Benson-Pope has admitted speaking to Ms Clark about the police report, perhaps he’d care to tell us what the Prime Minister said.

“I also note that Mr Benson-Pope says he did not speak to, or brief the Prime Minister in advance of the release of the police files.

“We’re being asked to accept that Helen Clark never sought any assurance over the course of this long-running controversy, even when she was appointing him to Cabinet.

“David Benson-Pope now has a reputation as a Minister whose first instinct is to deny everything, even though it might not be the truth.

“Public confidence in this gaffe prone Minister has been shattered and this, the latest in a catalogue of mistruths, should be enough to ensure his removal,” says Ms Collins.


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