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Does Clark have any standards?

Bill English MP
National Party Deputy Leader

25 September 2008

Does Clark have any standards?

National Party Deputy Leader Bill English says the Prime Minister has to explain why she is allowing Winston Peters to remain as a Minister despite the censure handed down by a majority of Parliament.

“The onus is on Helen Clark to explain why Mr Peters continues to enjoy her confidence as a Minister with no responsibilities.

“The fact that Helen Clark is still sitting on her hands is a sad indictment on how far standards have slipped and how desperate she is to cling to power. What is her new standard? Where is the line?”

Mr English says the news that there was an attempt to influence the Maori Party’s verdict on Mr Peters adds new depth to the murk that surrounds this affair.

“There’s no doubt that Labour and New Zealand First have sought to undermine the process. Michael Cullen and Helen Clark started to white ant the cross-party Privileges Committee once they saw convincing evidence against Mr Peters.

“But the majority verdict, supported by those from across the political spectrum, makes a total mockery of their claims of bias. The frailty of that argument is clearly why Helen Clark has left Dr Cullen to do all the talking.

“The reality, though, is simple. It is her decision to keep Mr Peters on, not Dr Cullen’s.

“New Zealanders know a line should have been drawn under this scandal long ago.

“With further confirmation of a recession expected tomorrow, New Zealanders are anxious to see their Government knuckle down and provide a carefully balanced economic plan to see us through the current uncertainty.

“But as this seemingly never-ending scandal amply demonstrates, that plan won’t come from Labour.”


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