Probe into Hager book claims fine: Key

Prime Minister John Key speaks to media in Dunedin today. Photo by Stephen Jaquiery
Prime Minister John Key speaks to media in Dunedin today. Photo by Stephen Jaquiery
Prime Minister John Key says he will be happy for any investigation to be undertaken by any agency into the allegations contained in Nicky Hager's book released last night.

Answering questions in Dunedin, Mr Key distanced himself and colleagues from the allegations contained in ''Dirty Politics: How attack politics is poisoning New Zealand's political environment''.

He again accused Nick Hager of being a left-wing conspiracy theorist and said any actions undertaken by Whale Oil blogger Cameron Slater were undertaken solely by Mr Slater and not under direction of the National Party.

Some of the damning emails published by Mr Hager alleged conspiracy between National Party staff member Jason Ede and Mr Slater. But Mr Key gave a tacit approval if Mr Ede had undertaken trawling through Labour's website after Mr Slater alerted the site was open to public scrutiny.

Mr Key denied to the Otago Daily Times he had any involvement in any of the allegations contained in the book and was particularly annoyed he was said to have made offensive remarks about a West Coast resident.

''That type of speech is not me.''

Under persistent questioning, Mr Key said he would not read the book until after the election, it was unlikely he would ask Justice Minister Judith Collins whether she had shifted a prisoner on Mr Cameron's behalf and whether Ms Collins had leaked information to Mr Cameron.

Ms Collins retained his support.

Mr Key said he talked to Mr Cameron three or four times a year, sometimes sent a text message about a story he did not understand and last spoke to the blogger three or four months ago.

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