John Key must rule out making the public pay for his settlement with Bradley Ambrose, because it is explicitly prohibited in the rules governing MP’s use of public funds, the Green Party says.
“The Green Party is today releasing the rules that show MPs are explicitly prohibited from using parliamentary money for legal settlements,” Green Party Co leader Metiria Turei said.
“The rules also confirm that the Prime Minister should have asked the Speaker if he wanted his legal fees paid by Parliament. John Key should also state whether he followed that rule too.
“When Russel Norman was sued for defamation by Colin Craig, the Green Party fundraised to cover Russel’s legal costs because the case arose during an election campaign and it didn’t seem right to use public funds. In this case, we think John Key should do the same.
“John Key used his power as the Prime Minister of New Zealand to defame Mr Ambrose and it is right that the rules prohibit him from using public money to mop up the mess that he created.
“Taxpayers shouldn't have to foot the bill for John Key’s persecution of a journalist just because the Prime Minister was desperate to keep the content of the teapot tapes secret from the public.
“This fiasco has been going on for years. It shows the arrogance of the Prime Minister that he waited this long before finally admitting he was wrong, then had the audacity to expect the public to cover his costs,” Mrs Turei said.