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Helen Clark Turns On Peter Williams QC

PRIME MINISTER Helen Clark retaliated against Dover Samuels' lawyer Peter Williams QC. today accusing him of mounting a "vindictive and nasty" campaign against her and warning defamation proceedings were being considered. Scoop’s Mathew Loh reports from the Post-Cabinet press conference.

When asked why she thought such a campaign may have been launched she replied: "I'd imagine he thinks he is doing the best for his client (fired former Labour Maori Affairs Minister Dover Samuels).

Claiming she and the public had had "a gutsful" of the Samuels' saga, Clark was angrily responding to allegations (under Parliamentary privilege) made by Leader of the Opposition Jenny Shipley, that the PM had rang Labour Party president Bob Harvey seeking, "dirt on Dover", and to statements by Mr Williams about evidence he had of a Labour party campaign to discredit Mr Samuels.

"I have my suspicions Mr Williams has got a little carried away," Ms Clark said.

"Mr Williams has repeatedly implied that somehow I have had influence over the police investigation into Mr Samuels because a former commissioner (Peter Doone) is an employee in the Crime Prevention Unit of the Prime Minister's department".

"This is a vindictive and nasty campaign," she added saying "we are certainly looking at defamation".

Clark also made it clear she was sick of the entire matter, "it is a complete waste of time and I and the public have had a gutsful", she said.

Ironically she also indicated Samuels may not have stirred up so much brouhaha if he had been frank about his form.

"You have Georgina Beyer (Transsexual MP) who has a colourful past, admits it, and has gone on. Now if Mr Samuels followed a similar course after his colourful past things may be different".

Clark also issued a letter from the Chief Executive of the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet Mark Prebble advising Mr Williams the statements he was making were "without foundation".

The statement ended "Mr Williams' statements are outrageous and wrong. He should stop making a fool of himself".

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