Looks like Winston’s, David’s and Grant’s nasty smears have backfired

Yesterday Winston Peters, Grant Robertson and David Cunliffe all accused Judith Collins of corruption without a shred of evidence to support their claims.

Now someone who was at the dinner has confirmed the minister’s account and their smears are in tatters.

A senior Beehive adviser has taken the unusual step of going public to back her minister, Judith Collins, over what took place at a dinner with Oravida executives and a senior Chinese Government official.

Margaret Malcolm was one of five guests at the dinner in Beijing which has embroiled Collins in allegations of corruption.

Malcolm, who travelled with Collins to China as her senior adviser, backed the minister’s claim that they did not discuss Oravida’s business over the dinner and that they talked mostly tourism.

“The dinner was very short and discussion was restricted due to some participants having limited English. The conversation centred around New Zealand as a tourist destination.”

She had not taken any notes in her capacity as adviser.

Like Collins, Malcolm also refused to name the Chinese official who Opposition MPs claim was in a position to help milk exporter Oravida overcome export issues following the botulism scare.

Collins has been under fire over allegations she used her ministerial position to benefit her husband’s business interests, though she told The Dominion Post last night that this was not true.

“[NZ First leader] Winston Peters . . . misled the media, he misled the public and actually there is no evidence of it and it’s utterly untrue.”

She had no influence over the $6000 received by Oravida from a pool of government funding for businesses which had been affected by the botulism scare, which turned out to be a false alarm.

Forty-one exporters had received advice and help from the Government relating to the incident and 39 of them received some form of payment, she said.?

All three smearers should stand and apologise to Judith Collins. Their accusations are baseless and nothing short of smears based on innuendo, gossip and un-joined dots.

John Armstrong has realised too that they have nothing.

Unfortunately for Peters and Robertson, a rather vital piece of the jigsaw is missing.

That piece, which would join all the dots, is proof that Collins lobbied a Chinese official to exempt Oravida from China’s freeze on dairy imports.

Without that proof ? and Collins strenuously denies that she engaged in any such behaviour ? the evidence remains circumstantial and any conclusions are therefore only conjecture.

The latter commodity is not sufficient reason for John Key to relieve Collins of her ministerial warrants; he has to take his minister at her word. If that word is found to be in conflict with the truth, however, then he will have to dump her from his ministry.

Given she has issued repeated denials in the House, she would probably have to leave Parliament altogether if she is found to have been economical with the truth. That Collins is risking such a tough sanction suggests she has been truthful.

Regardless, Peters and Robertson are unlikely to discover exactly what, if anything, she said to the Chinese official.

Perhaps those three smearers might like to explain why it is they are going after the justice ministers…is it because their confidante and benefactor in Coatesville would really rather there was a more compliant minister in the job?

Winston went there at least three times, he has asked numerous questions, those questions in some instances were dictated to him by Dotcom, who sat and watched parliament so he could see them asked…would they like to come clean on their reasons for a baseless and fabricated attack?