3 News has been sent another secret recording of Bill English in which National's deputy leader talks about the war in Iraq and says he is worried about Barack Obama - the man the polls are picking as the next president of the United States.
The piece of tape is a continuation of the secret recordings that were taken at National's August conference - National won't engage on the content of the tape - and it's blaming Labour for what it is calling a recycled dirty tricks campaign.
The recording is clearly designed to derail John Key's own election campaign and comes form the same person who has leaked previous tapes to 3 News.
Bill English has already apologised for being caught on tape saying he'd like to eventually sell Kiwibank.
Now there's another secret recording - again leaked exclusively to Three News, from the cocktail party at National's August Conference.
This time English appears to lament the moralistic view presidential hopeful Barack Obama and others take on international relations and war - saying someone needs to be prepared to pull the trigger.
John Key says he's not concerned about the comments.
“I'm not going to dignify dirty desperate behaviour.”
National argues there was no context to the comments but English would not talk to 3 News about his comments.
But Helen Clark says it shows National would have sent troops to Iraq - and to future wars.
Clark says the comments around Obama are particularly unfortunate and could have implications in Washington should he be elected tomorrow.
Obama has indicated he will withdraw troops from the war in Iraq.
But John Key is less concerned about the impact.
“I don't think so - whoever the president is, I will develop a relationship with them,” Key said.
National says Labour is behind what it is calling a continuation of a dirty tricks campaign.
Clark denies knowing who is behind it.
But National is adamant Labour knows more than it's letting on.
The source has already said he is not a Labour Party member, though National believe those around him are linked to the Labour Party.
It is understood there are more tapes to come, but no more recordings of Bill English.
The handing over of this recording has created some concern within 3 News.
The editorial view inside 3 News is that the company is being used to some extent by someone who obviously has it in for National and that the closer the election gets, the more serious the impact could be from the release of this tape and any others.
3 News political reporter Duncan Garner says it is not 3 News’ job to censor the news.
“If we didn't report it we would be failing in our duty…all 3 News can do is broadcast the material and be as balanced and as careful about it as possible,” he said.
source: newshub archive