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Clark: Shipley continues to hide

2000 web siteLabour Leader Helen Clark said today that she was astonished at the Prime Minister’s refusal to debate her on Radio Pacific’s Jenny Anderson show.

“Some time ago I indicated my willingness to appear on Jenny Anderson’s show and debate election issues with Mrs Shipley. It was to be a one-hour, wide-ranging debate, carried live across the Radio Pacific network.

“This election gives New Zealanders a choice between two very different directions, and it is essential that voters are given the opportunity to listen to the views of the leaders of the two main political leaders.

“For reasons which aren’t clear, Mrs Shipley seems to prefer to avoid such debates if she can possibly get away with it. This morning her staff informed Radio Pacific that she was refusing to participate in the proposed debate with me.

“A pattern of evasiveness on Mrs Shipley’s part seems to be emerging. Mrs Shipley’s refusal to front up on Radio Pacific comes just a few days after it was revealed that she had similarly snubbed the Christchurch Press’ longstanding plans for a public leaders’ debate. She has also refused to participate in a similar debate proposed by the Otago Daily Times.

“Mrs Shipley needs to come clean and explain to New Zealanders why, when a crucial election is just a few weeks away, she is clearly so reluctant to avoid debating with me on the issue that matter,” Helen Clark said.

Contact: David Lewis, 025 409 492

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