PM can't be trusted over dirty politics defence

John Key’s answers to questions about dirty politics can’t be trusted, after he was forced to admit that he had misled journalists and Parliament about contact with attack blogger Cameron Slater, said the Green Party today.

“The waters surrounding Mr Key and his attack blogger friend have been further muddied in the past 48 hours, highlighting the need for a Royal Commission to investigate the extent of the Prime Minister’s involvement in dirty politics and the use of SIS information for political purposes,” Green Party Co-leader Metiria Turei said.

John Key’s untruths relating to Cameron Slater include:

1.         His continual insistence that  he doesn’t communicate with Slater as Prime Minister, yet Monday’s texts were as Prime Minister.

2.         Key’s statements to media on Tuesday that he had not communicated with Slater recently, and couldn’t recall when he had last texted him. Key had in fact texted him the night before.

3.         Key’s response to a questions in Parliament where he stated again that he had no communication with Slater regarding the Inspector General of Intelligence and Security report.

“New Zealanders can’t believe what the Prime Minister says, he has been caught red handed,” Mrs Turei said.

“The public’s trust in John Key will be rightfully eroded by these events. We can’t have a Prime Minister that misleads the people of New Zealand, including journalists and Parliament.

“If John Key hasn’t told the truth about these texts with dirty politics supremo Cameron Slater, it begs the question: what else he hasn’t been totally up front with the public about?

“We can’t even be sure if the text exchange that has been now made public is accurate because it was provided by Cameron Slater as the Prime Minister had deleted his own records of the texts.

“The behaviour of our Prime Minister in the wake of IGIS’s damning report has been nothing short of bizarre.  The fact he was communicating with Mr Slater in the days prior to publication of the report, and publicly denying that fact, are deeply concerning.

“John Key’s decision to elevate Mr Slater’s opinion of the events described in the IGIS report over the Inspector General’s findings, and his continual contact with Mr Slater in the past week, raises serious questions about his judgement and ethics.

“John Key has degraded the office of Prime Minister by misleading the public about the details of his relationship with Slater.

“The Prime Minister’s actions add further fuel to why we need a Royal Commission into the dirty politics allegations against the Government.

“New Zealanders deserve clean and transparent politics. John Key and National are acting in their own interests, not the interests of New Zealanders,” Mrs Turei said.