Little risks skeletons in Labour’s closet

Andrew Little is playing the sanctimonious card rather too hard.

Labour leader Andrew Little says Prime Minister John Key allowed former MP Mike Sabin to chair the Law and Order Select Committee at least once after Mr Key found out he was being investigated, showing a “cavalier attitude” to Parliament.

Mr Key has said the first he knew Mr Sabin was facing personal issues that resulted in his resignation was on December 1. Mr Little said Mr Sabin had chaired the meeting of the Law and Order Select Committee on December 3, two days after Mr Key was told.

“That was a severe conflict of interest. It shows a cavalier attitude by the Government towards Parliamentary oversight of the Police. We need to know that the institutions of Parliament, select committees and the way they operate are done in a way that maintains public confidence in them. You can’t have a committee of Parliament that provides oversight for the Police being chaired by someone under Police investigation.”

Mr Little said he believed Mr Key knew more than he was admitting to. Police Minister Michael Woodhouse has repeatedly refused to say whether he or his predecessor, Anne Tolley, were briefed under the ‘no surprises’ policy. On Waitangi Day, Police Commissioner Mike Bush also refused to confirm whether he had advised ministers, but said police “have not dropped the ball.”

Since he is on his high horse and he is now the leader I?wonder what Little will say about the case of Philip Field, who unlike Mike Sabin was actually a minister under Clark.

Labour clung onto him far too long with Helen Clark defending him extensively in the lead up to the 2005 election. It was only after Philip Field threatened to stand as an independent did Labour act and chuck him out of caucus.

And since we are talking about a cavalier attitude perhaps Andrew Little might like to explain to the public why it was that Phil Goff and Annette King as the leadership of labour attempted to cover up the issues Darren Hughes was facing for more than two weeks, and also explain the actions of key members of the Labour team who went around the press gallery victim blaming.

If Andrew Little wants to go down this path in casting aspersions then let’s get it on.


– NZ Herald