Helen Clark needs to front up and explain her part in the murky saga over financial donations to the Labour Party by recently honoured businessman Owen Glenn, says National Party Deputy leader, Bill English.
“Statements by Labour’s leaders over Mr Glenn’s donations and his New Year’s Honour conflict with Mr Glenn’s statements.
“First we have Labour Party president Mike Williams stating on December 31 last year that Mr Glenn had not made any donations to Labour since the 2005 election. Owen Glenn has revealed in the last few days that in fact he did give money to Labour in the form of an interest-free loan after the 2005 election to employ fundraisers.
“Mr Williams is, at best, misleading and, at worst, lying to minimise embarrassment for Helen Clark in the light of public interest in the honour she bestowed on Owen Glenn.
“Helen Clark needs to say why she has let Mr Williams’ lie stand, and why she has failed to correct it.
“She also needs to tell us whether she knew about this loan, which under her own legislation is defined as a donation, and whether any of her Cabinet Ministers were in the know as well, particularly when they were signing off on Mr Glenn’s New Year’s Honour.
“In addition, Helen Clark must explain the claim by Mr Glenn that she tried to lure him into politics, suggesting he could be given a Cabinet post.
“This whole saga reeks of hypocrisy. At the same time as the Prime Minister was pushing through the draconian Electoral Finance Act to supposedly inject more transparency into election financing, Labour appears to have done a deal to conceal support from a major donor who then received a New Year’s Honour.
“Is this the latest manifestation of the Clark dictum that it’s only when you get caught out that you come clean?”