INDEPENDENT NEWS

Another PM Who Can't Remember Her Friends

Published: Thu 21 Sep 2000 11:00 AM
Another Prime Minister Who Cannot Remember Who Her Friends Are
The disease of Prime Ministers unable to remember who their friends are is contagious and reaching near epidemic status, says United New Zealand leader, Hon Peter Dunne.
"Last year it was Jenny Shipley who could not remember having dinner with Kevin Roberts - now it seems Helen Clark has the same problem," he says.
Mr Dunne says that in July he drew attention to the review of PHARMAC being carried by Dr Joel Lexchin of Canada, a self-proclaimed critic of the pharmaceutical industry, and a friend of the Prime Minister and her husband.
"Helen Clark told the Evening Post on 28 July she had no recollection of having met Dr Lexchin either when Minister of Health, or through her husband."
"However, that is clearly not Dr Lexchin's view."
"According to a copy of an e-mail from him to the chair of PHARMAC, which I have obtained, Dr Lexchin says he is a friend of the Prime Minister's husband, and that he knows the Prime Minister."
"Moreover, Dr Lexchin was apparently so concerned about his friendship with the Prime Minister and her husband that he felt the need to disclose it to protect his reputation from allegations that his review would be a jack-up."
"The Prime Minister now clearly has some explaining to do - either she is not telling the truth, or Dr Lexchin is no more than an ambitious name-dropper," Mr Dunne says.
Ends
Copies of both the Evening Post article and Dr Lexchin's e-mail are available from the United New Zealand Parliamentary Unit

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