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Personal spat not on, Minister

ACC Spokesperson

Personal spat not on, Minister

Comments from Judith Collins about the Privacy Commissioner’s inquiry into the leaking of an email are totally out of line and she should think seriously about stepping aside as Justice Minister until the investigation is complete, Labour’s ACC spokesperson Andrew Little says.

“Ms Collins has previously refused to answer questions about how the email - from former National Party President Michelle Boag to Ms Collins - was leaked to a newspaper because the inquiry had not been completed.

“Yet today she quite happily disclosed advice she had received about the progress of the inquiry, specifically that emails on computers owned or possessed by former ACC chair John Judge had been deleted or were inaccessible.

“That, in turn, prompted Mr Judge to restate his earlier denial of having leaked the email and confirm that ‘everything was transferred from [his] old computer to the new one’.

“It’s bad enough that Judith Collins has chosen to disclose selective information about an inquiry into events she is at the centre of and before the inquiry is complete. What is worse is that as Justice Minister she is responsible for the Office of the Privacy Commissioner and her premature comments look like an attempt to influence the inquiry or colour it in some way.

“Put crudely, it smacks of self-interest.”

“Ms Collins has demonstrated that she cannot be trusted to conduct herself professionally while she is under investigation by a department for which she is politically responsible.

“She is now embroiled in a personal tit-for-tat, and for the sake of the integrity of the remainder of the inquiry she should step aside as Justice Minister,” said Andrew Little.

Andrew Little and fellow Labour MP Trevor Mallard are defendants in a defamation lawsuit taken by Judith Collins over comments made about the handling of the Michelle Boag email.

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