INDEPENDENT NEWS

Key must ensure Banks comes clean

Published: Fri 14 Sep 2012 01:49 PM
Grant Robertson
Deputy Leader
14 September 2012
Key must ensure Banks comes clean
If John Key is serious about holding his Ministers to any real standards he needs to instruct John Banks to allow his witness statement to be publicly released, says Labour Deputy Leader Grant Robertson.
“When the Police files on the investigation into John Banks were released this week, Mr Banks’ own witness statement was missing. The Police refer to a three hour interview with him, but no other information has been released. Given the damning sworn statements from others in the file, Mr Banks needs to be transparent with the public about what he did know about the so-called anonymous donations.
“Mr Banks staff have tried to claim that withholding the statement was a decision made by the Police. That is not correct. Police clearly stated to us when they released the documents that they had released the statements of those who had authorised them to do so. This is in Mr Banks' hands.
“If he is not prepared to be up-front with the public, then John Key should step in. Key has told the public that he would hold his Ministers to high ethical standards. He has failed to do that so far with John Banks, but at the very least he needs to step in and ensure that there is transparency and accountability.
“In the absence of Mr Banks statement, the material that is in the public arena makes it clear that he knew about the donations he signed off as being anonymous, and that the Police would have prosecuted him for a false return if the time to do so had not expired.
“On these counts John Key should sack his Minister. These were the two tests he set for Mr Banks retaining his confidence. If he does not it is a failure of leadership and of accountability,” Grant Robertson said.
ENDS

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