INDEPENDENT NEWS

Investigate Editor Responds To DBP

Published: Mon 20 Feb 2006 06:13 PM
Investigate Editor Responds To DBP
Investigate magazine editor Ian Wishart has welcomed David Benson-Pope's tacit admission that the schoolgirl nightie allegations are true.
The magazine has today published fresh information that had been buried inside a 1,000 page electronic police file released to the media before Christmas.
"We welcome David Benson-Pope and Helen Clark's comments today that this information is "old news", and we welcome the fact that neither the Minister nor the Prime Minister are denying that the events took place.
"With respect to both politicians, however, information released to the media but not discovered by the media remains news until such time as it is published and the public have had a chance to digest its significance. This information is not 'old news' just because Labour desperately wants it to be.
"Benson Pope complains that we didn't seek further comment above what he has already said in the past. Again, with respect, Investigate was reporting on what police had been told by witnesses. If David Benson-Pope or Helen Clark felt they wanted to make public comment about why he made schoolgirls strip to their nighties and stand in the cold while he watched, they both had a chance to do so in early December when the file was first released. Neither chose to exercise that option, presumably preferring to leave media unaware of the allegations.
"As editor, I satisfied myself that the corroborating evidence in the police file was substantial, and I published the information that the police discovered.
"One question we do believe has arisen however, is whether by standing beside Benson-Pope despite knowing the nightie incidents and female teacher harassment took place, the Prime Minister feels this is behaviour appropriate for a male Labour MP?"
Ends

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