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Key’s first instinct under pressure: lie and evade

Hon Dr Michael Cullen
Deputy Prime Minister

1 September 2008 Media Statement

Key’s first instinct under pressure: lie and evade

John Key has shown that his first instinct when he is under pressure is to lie and evade questioning, Deputy Prime Minister Michael Cullen said today.

Under questioning today about whether anyone in National had met British Conservative Party Deputy Chair and wealthy political donor Lord Michael Ashcroft over the past week, Mr Key said twice:

“Yes I think they have.”

When then immediately asked if he had personally met with Lord Ashcroft he said,

“Yes I have.”

Mr Key was not able to say for what purpose the meeting had been arranged or who had requested it.

“Saying you think someone in your Party has met with someone when you know it was you is lying. It should not have required three direct questions to get the truth out of Mr Key.

“His evasiveness raises the question of what Mr Key has to hide in this case. What was the meeting really about and who arranged it?

“At best, it would seem Mr Key may want to think carefully before raising further questions about secret, big money campaign donations.

“Mr Key has raised questions about meetings Winston Peters had three years ago, yet claims he cannot remember details of a meeting he had last Thursday.

“Something doesn’t add up.”


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