Brendan Horan has told the New Zealand Herald he will not
challenge the NZ First board's decision to expel him from the
party, after claims he improperly accessed his dying mother's
The NZ First board last night said Mr Horan "by his own
action in notifying the Speaker that he be regarded as an
independent member of Parliament" had "relinquished his
That decision came after Mr Horan said he had used his
parliamentary mobile phone 144 times while an MP to place
bets with the TAB, at total cost to the taxpayer of about
His cellphone records showing calls to the TAB were leaked to
the media last week, a few days after he was expelled from
the NZ First caucus after the allegations about misuse of his
mother's money and a gambling habit.
Mr Peters has said Mr Horan's use of his parliamentary
cellphone to place bets was one of the reasons he sacked the
Before the NZ First board announced its decision, Mr Horan
said he still considered himself a member and would be
disappointed if he was expelled.
"I would expect that they would call me for my version of
events and I haven't been called so I'm not going to pre-empt
their decision that may or may not be made."
However, he would not challenge any decision to expel him.
Mr Peters last night said Mr Horan ceased being a member of
the party when he approached Speaker Lockwood Smith last
Wednesday about staying on as an independent MP. "Under our
constitution that's the end of it. It's a fait accompli
achieved by his own request."
Prime Minister John Key defended Mr Horan's use of the
parliamentary mobile phone as being within the rules for MPs,
and said an MP's personal use of a parliamentary cellphone
was not a reason to sack them.
"I use my mobile phone to ring my wife, I use my mobile phone
to make restaurant bookings."
Mr Key said he understood that was permitted as a fringe
He also questioned whether the frequency of Mr Horan's calls
to the TAB indicated he had a gambling problem.
"Ringing 14 times a month, is that an addiction? I reckon
that would be a stretch."
However, Mr Horan is under fresh pressure in the form of
media reports that forensic accountants examining his late
mother's affairs have raised issues with a number of cheques.
He responded yesterday by swearing on a Bible provided by a
reporter that he did not have a gambling problem and had
never stolen money from his mother.
However, he did not deny receiving money from her.
"My relationship with my mother was such that if I ever
required anything all I needed to do was ask", he told
RadioLive's Duncan Garner.