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Key playing politics with national security

David Shearer
Labour Leader

1 August 2013

Key playing politics with national security

John Key is playing politics with New Zealand’s national security with today’s extraordinary comments about New Zealanders with links to Al Qaeda, says the Labour Leader, David Shearer.

“If John Key has serious and credible information about security threats involving Al Qaeda it seems remarkable that he would choose to make it public on breakfast radio. His comments – made without context or details – can only have provoked public anxiety.

“This is classic John Key. He is under huge pressure over his legislation to extend the powers of the GCSB. So on the very day the GCSB bill is to be debated again in Parliament, he starts talking about Al Qaeda - it is desperate stuff.

“As Prime Minister, Mr Key has access to very sensitive intelligence about national security. For him to use that information for political purposes is unbecoming of a Prime Minister.

“I have worked and lived in countries such as Iraq and Afghanistan where terrorism is a daily threat. I take security matters seriously. But I also know distraction tactics when I see them.

“In the SIS and GCSB, we have agencies tasked with tackling threats to national security. If indeed they are monitoring threats, John Key has just made their job that much harder by alerting any potential targets that the Government is on to them.

“If John Key was taking this issue seriously he'd be in Parliament today to debate the GCSB legislation. Instead he is scaremongering and playing political games. New Zealanders deserve better from their Prime Minister than that,” says David Shearer.

ENDS

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