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Helen Clark confesses deceit over Peter Doone

Hon Tony Ryall MP National Party Law & Order Spokesman

09 September 2005

Helen Clark confesses deceit over Peter Doone

National Party Law & Order spokesman Tony Ryall says at long last Helen Clark has nearly come clean on her deceit in the Peter Doone case.

"Not only did she mislead the press, but more importantly the public.

"Helen Clark's confession that she should have handled the Peter Doone case differently doesn't go far enough.

"She is still claiming she told a journalist that the information she was leaking was contested. Evidence from the journalist shows that is not correct," says Mr Ryall.

On RNZ today Helen Clark was asked if 'it's proper for the Prime Minister to have off-the-record briefings with journalists, bagging her police commissioner? Helen Clark: Well you know, if you ask me with the benefit of six years experience would I have even answered the phone, the answer is no. I was about a month into the job as Prime Minister; you learn a lot of lessons along the way. Presenter: So that was a mistake? Helen Clark: Well, I would not treat the issue the same way at this time.'

"This is a complete about-face for Helen Clark who has previously defended her involvement in off-the-record briefings, saying that by definition the Prime Minister cannot leak.

"Now that Ms Clark has admitted her deceit in the Doone case, it's time she cleared the slate on the speeding motorcade.

"Instead of taking responsibility for what she described to one police officer as 'an heroic journey' she has opted to maintain the flimsy defence that she did not realise how fast they were going.

"Two men gave evidence on oath that Clark knew what was going on. The Prime Minister's statement to police has never been released.

"In the process, a number of her staff now have convictions and confidence within police is at an all-time low. It's time for new leadership," says Mr Ryall.

ENDS

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