Facts Blow Holes In PM's 'I Know Nothing’
Despite trying to claim “I know nothing” about the Todd Barclay debacle, the Prime Minister Bill English is not fooling anyone.
“He knew everything, the facts speak for themselves, and he tried to cover it up,” says New Zealand First Leader and Northland MP Rt Hon Winston Peters.
“On Monday Mr English told reporters that he ‘wasn’t aware of the employment settlement’ relating to the termination of electorate agent Glenys Dickson’s employment in the Clutha-Southland office.
“That was untrue.
“In a text message to the National Party’s electorate chairman Stuart Davie Mr English had stated that Glenys Dickson’s settlement was ‘part paid from the Prime Minister’s budget to avoid potential legal action’.
“When asked in Parliament yesterday about the contradiction in his answers Mr English said he stood by ‘what he said at the prime ministerial press conference’.
“Mr English was also asked which of the following statements he stood by:
a) ‘I wasn’t involved and didn’t know about the nature of the employment settlement.’
b) The ‘settlement was larger than normal because of the privacy breach’ and had to be ‘part paid from the Prime Minister’s budget to avoid potential legal action … Everyone unhappy’.
“The Prime Minister’s response was the well-worn one – he claimed he did not have ministerial responsibility.
“It will be difficult for National Party voters to stand by Mr English, when his integrity and honesty has been shattered by the facts.
“There’s been a massive cover-up of this issue by the Prime Minister, who claims now to have destroyed the hundreds of texts he sent.
“If he thinks that will save him from more questions he is wrong,” says Mr Peters.