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Peters should prove case against MP - Key

Wednesday 5 Dec 2012 4:37 p.m.

PM John Key, NZ First leader Winston Peters

PM John Key, NZ First leader Winston Peters

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NZ First leader Winston Peters should prove his case against Brendan Horan if he believes the MP should resign from parliament, Prime Minister John Key says.

Mr Peters on Tuesday expelled Mr Horan from the party caucus over allegations he misappropriated money from his mother's bank account before she died in August.

Mr Peters told parliament he had "substantive material" relating to the allegations and believed Mr Horan should resign his seat.

Whether Mr Horan should stay as an independent is a hot topic in parliament, because he is a list MP and doesn't represent an electorate.

"In principle it feels wrong to me," Mr Key told reporters.

"But if he's done nothing wrong then he's got a legitimate reason to be here."

Mr Key says he doesn't have the information Mr Peters referred to.

"I don't think he will have a mandate to stay if Mr Peters can really put up the argument that whatever he has done is so bad he deserved to be expelled from the party and has brought parliament into disrepute - the issue is whether he can prove it."

Green Party co-leader Russel Norman has a similar opinion.

"People are innocent until they're proven guilty, and I don't think kicking people out just on the basis of some allegation is really a just outcome."

Labour's deputy leader, Grant Robertson, says most people see list MPs as being representatives of their parties.

"If they're no longer part of the party, that calls into question their credibility and legitimacy as an MP - I don't have an immediate answer to that."

United Future leader Peter Dunne says Mr Horan has no reason for being in parliament other than the fact that he was elected on the NZ First ticket.

"He's now no longer part of that ticket and he's like that long list of MPs over the years who just sort of live in limbo until the next election."


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