Information contained in a new chapter of the book Key: Portrait of a Prime Minister, that Jason Ede stopped working for the National Party on the night the book Dirty Politics was released, shows Mr Key and senior ministers hid crucial facts from the public during the election campaign, says the Green Party.
“All through the campaign John Key misled New Zealanders by pretending that Jason Ede was still working for the National Party, when in fact he had stopped immediately after the revelations about his attack politics came out,” said Green Party Co-leader Dr Russel Norman.
“By pretending that Mr Ede was still working for the National Party in the wake of Dirty Politics, John Key gave the impression that National was unfazed by allegations that Mr Ede had run a black ops attack regime from the Prime Minister’s ninth floor office.
“Mr Key has gone to such lengths to stress how much time he spends wearing his National Party leader hat lately that it defies belief he wouldn’t have known the second Mr Ede stopped working for his party.
“Mr Key misled New Zealanders. Had he told the truth – that Jason Ede had stopped working for National immediately – then the public would have taken a very different impression of the allegations.
“When John Key told journalists on 17 August 2014, ‘he (Ede) works for the National Party now, that’s all I know’ he misled the public, because Mr Ede didn’t work for the National Party then at all.
“Why didn’t John Key just tell the truth and let New Zealanders know that Jason Ede stopped working for National as soon as the damaging book came out? And why, when announcing Mr Ede’s resignation shortly after the election, didn’t he reveal that Mr Ede hadn’t worked for National for several weeks?
“John Key knew that the fact Mr Ede stopped working for National as soon as Dirty Politics was published contradicted his claim that attack politics like Ede was engaged in was normal practice for all parties. Clearly it was only normal for National,” Dr Norman said.