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Key has explaining to do over Exclusive Brethren

24 November 2006

Key has explaining to do over Exclusive Brethren

Deputy Prime Minister Michael Cullen today said Don Brash’s falling on his sword has not lanced the National Party’s boil with respect to the Exclusive Brethren.

“It is clear from the first chapter of Nicky Hager’s book that he had detailed and significant prior knowledge of the Exclusive Brethren’s advertising campaign despite his claims to the contrary.

“An email sent on 24th May to both Dr Brash and Mr Key makes it clear that the Exclusive Brethren planned to mount a campaign of “seven nationally distributed flyers” designed to change the government.

“This email is not just conclusive evidence in itself of Mr Key’s knowledge, it also casts a new light on the meeting he previously had with the Exclusive Brethren about which Mr Key has given many different explanations over the last year or so.

“It beggars belief that that conversation did not touch on the Exclusive Brethren’s intended political activities. It also beggars belief that Mr Key as finance spokesperson and the number 4 ranked National Party MP was not aware of the ongoing discussions within the National Party leadership around the activities of the Exclusive Brethren and even the disquiet some people had about the planned campaign.

“Dr Brash’s lies may now be largely irrelevant, but Mr Key has a great deal of explaining to do before Monday morning. At this point there is no reason to believe anything other than that Mr Key was deeply involved in the campaign of deception and cover-up around the Exclusive Brethren’s role in the election campaign.”

Dr Cullen said he would read the rest of the book over the weekend and anticipated that it would provide further material for continuing to question the activities of the National Party in the pre-election period.

ENDS

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