Mr Anderton's Behaviour Reprehensible

  • Doug Graham

"The right given to MPs to raise issues in the House without being subject to defamation proceedings carries with it an obligation to act responsibly," the Attorney General and Chairman of the Privileges Committee, Sir Douglas Graham said today.

Sir Douglas was commenting on claims made under Parliamentary privilege yesterday by Jim Anderton MP.

"The allegations amounted to a claim of corruption against the Prime Minister and another senior Minister, solely based on a letter Mr Anderton claims to have received," Sir Douglas said.

"No attempt appears to have been made by Mr Anderton to check the accuracy of the letter with either Minister's office before the matter was raised in the House."

"It is quite inadequate for him to now say that he accepts the Ministers' denials, having put such serious allegations into the public arena without first checking their accuracy.

"This is an example of how the privileges accorded an MP can easily be abused. Mr Anderton's action should be condemned by every responsible MP," Sir Douglas concluded.