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Prebble’s Breach Grandstanding Says Clark

The Government is unlikely to lodge a complaint against ACT leader Richard Prebble, even though he almost certainly breached Parliamentary privilege, Prime Minister Helen Clark said today.

Miss Clark was referring to Mr Prebble’s revelations this morning of six key principles in the government’s new industrial legislation, the Employment Relations Bill, before it was printed - a breach of the rules of Parliament, which requires MPs to keep legislation confidential until it is tabled in the House.

Mr Prebble accused the Government of intentionally delaying the Bill to frustrate ACT's plans to hold public seminars on it today. He said the select committee considering the Bill had told him it would be released today.

Miss Clark said she believed Mr Prebble’s actions were motivated by political grandstanding rather than any legitimate concerns the Government was stalling releasing the legislation.

“Mr. Prebble had no guarantee the [Select Committee] process would be finished by today – the clear mandate for the release was tomorrow, the first of August.”

“His actions today were almost certainly a breach of privilege - whether anyone can bothered to formally raise the issue is another matter.”

Miss Clark said the Government was likely to leave any complaints about the breach in the hands of New Zealand First Industrial Relations Spokesperson Peter Brown, who has threatened to make a formal objection.

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