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Cunliffe runs portfolio like banana republic

Hon Bill English MP National Party Deputy Finance Spokesman

25 May 2006

Cunliffe runs portfolio like banana republic

Communications Minister David Cunliffe is handling his job according to the ethical standards of a banana republic, says National's Deputy Finance spokesman Bill English.

In Parliament it was revealed today that the Minister had asked Vodafone for a political favour when he's about to make a decision on mobile termination rates which could cost Vodafone millions of dollars.

Vodafone released a grovelling letter this week apologising for a High Court judgment that was critical of the Minister for breaching confidentiality.

"Now Mr Cunliffe is bound to make a decision against Vodafone's interest or he will look like he is returning their political favour," says Mr English.

"Mr Cunliffe is trading political favours with a multinational company that could lose millions as a result of his decision.

"This is what happens in banana republics. Mr Cunliffe's actions are stupid and he has undermined the integrity of the Minister's position and responsibility.

"It's a further sign that Labour does not understand business."

ENDS

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