Key denies Cunliffe smear campaign claims

John Key. Photo Getty
John Key. Photo Getty
Prime Minister John Key has denied allegations of a smear campaign against the Labour leader and said it was David Cunliffe's own fault that he was under the spotlight now.

Mr Key was speaking to reporters while in Washington.

He was asked if the Government had set Mr Cunliffe up by knowing about a letter he had written to the Immigration Department 11 years ago regarding Chinese businessman Donghua Liu.

"No David Cunliffe set himself up when he wrote a letter 11 years ago, didn't check his files properly, constantly said he had no knowledge of it then the letter had to be released.

"If the new rules are 'if it is not convenient to release information, we don't have to do' that would be great. I'll look forward to those rules in the future."

Mr Key hinted that more information was yet to come on donations made to the Labour Party by Mr Liu.

"I just think they should go through their records and have a look.

"I'm very confident about that [that there's more]. I hear lots of rumours and lots of gossip around the place. Let's wait and see."

Asked where the rumours had come from he said "it's a highly rumoured Parliament, isn't it".

The Labour Party should expect to live up to the same sort of scrutiny National had been under with its own involvement with Mr Liu, Mr Key said.

"David Cunliffe and Grant Robertson have for the last six months been holding the blow torch to National, expecting accountability of ministers, demanding transparency for the New Zealand public which is fair enough.

- Audrey Young of NZ Herald

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