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All is not well despite Prime Minister's assurance

Gerry Brownlee MP
National Party State Services Spokesman

17 May 2006

All is not well despite Prime Minister’s assurance

National Party State Services spokesman Gerry Brownlee says he is still not convinced by the assurances being given in relation to the handling of Budget-sensitive documents within the Prime Minister’s Department.

“Labour is trying to argue that the processes have been in place for ‘many years’. The reality of this situation is that a leak of such magnitude has never happened before.”

According to reports today, the SIS check that was supposed to have been done on Mr Ryan related only to the handling of ‘highly classified information’, which he would carry but never see.

“Why wasn’t the document put back in the envelope it came in?

“Which official recklessly left the document in the open, in a tray on top of a filing cabinet? Who’s copy was it?”

“Why was Michael Cullen reported as saying leaks of this kind were not uncommon and he wasn’t surprised?

“How long has the Prime Minister known the leak’s identity, either through formal or informal sources? Even yesterday, Helen Clark was still denying she knew who the leak was - but surely she’s not so disconnected from her own department that no-one mentioned Michael Ryan’s sudden absence?”

Mr Brownlee says National expects to put its case for a wider inquiry to the Commerce Select Committee tomorrow.

“There are still too many unanswered questions. MPs and the public deserve the opportunity to have those questions answered.”

ENDS

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