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PM must answer on Companies Office claims

Bill English National Party MP

5 April 2006

PM must answer on Companies Office claims

Prime Minister Helen Clark's admission in Parliament today that her department has had contact with the Companies Office which is investigating David Parker requires further explanation, says National MP Bill English.

"This is a startling admission. Helen Clark knows how sensitive this investigation is, yet she has allowed this questionable contact between her officials and the Companies Office to continue.

"Was the communication with the Companies Office the reason she has hinted that Mr Parker will soon be back in Cabinet? What led her to reach that conclusion given that she had regarded Mr Parker's actions as serious enough for him to lose his ministerial warrants?"

In Parliament today, Ms Clark admitted that the head of the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet has been in contact with the Economic Development Ministry chief executive, who has responsibility for the Companies Office.

"Is this an independent inquiry or not?" asked Mr English. "The Companies Office is an independent statutory office currently deciding whether to prosecute a former senior minister.

"Any intervention by our politicians or officials is unacceptable because it taints the outcome of an investigation," says Mr English.

ENDS

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