Disgraced former MP to run for council

MP Aaron Gilmore with John Key. Photo: NZ Herald
MP Aaron Gilmore with John Key. Photo: NZ Herald
A former National MP who resigned after his "rude" and drunken behaviour in a restaurant hit headlines has announced he will run for Wellington City Council.

Aaron Gilmore revealed on Tuesday he intends to run for the Motukairangi/Eastern Ward seat – one of three up for grabs.

Running as an independent, Gilmore said he thinks Wellington "deserves better".

"Come October 2022 I want to be part of the Eastern Ward team delivering better. The current Wellington City Council team has not delivered what we as ratepayers want and need. It is time for a shakeup and a focus that addresses residents' needs, which the council has not been able to do."

In 2013, Gilmore threatened to use his influence with then-Prime Minister John Key's office to have a waiter at a Hanmer Springs hotel sacked after the man took issue with the Christchurch list MP's behaviour.

Christchurch lawyer Andrew Riches, one of Gilmore's dining companions, confirmed he'd left a note at the hotel the next morning apologising for Gilmore's behaviour, which he said was "rude" and "disgusting".

Gilmore allegedly called the waiter a "dickhead'' when he refused him more wine and gave him his business card saying something like "Don't you know who I am? I'm an important politician''.

Gilmore resigned from Parliament 10 days later, saying staying on would cause further upset to his friends and family.

Gilmore initially denied the claims but then issued an apology via Twitter and a later press release saying: "As a group of diners our behaviour was at times boisterous, and I sincerely apologise for any offence this may have caused to staff and/or patrons''.

"I intend to convey my apologies on behalf of the group to hotel staff, and understand that Members of Parliament should uphold, and be seen to uphold, the highest of standards at all times.''

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