Key: Cop who forgot gun 'as good as it gets'

Key: Cop who forgot gun 'as good as it gets'

Prime Minister John Key doesn't want the bodyguard who left a gun in a Parliament loo sacked, because he knows what it's like to leave behind something important.

A loaded Glock was found last Thursday and quickly recovered by police, who launched an immediate investigation. Mr Key wasn't at Parliament at the time, but has since confirmed it belonged to a member of his diplomatic protection squad. 

He told More FM this morning he almost threw his career away in 2005 when he left a copy of the then-Opposition National Party's finance package in a café.

"I took a version of it down to our senior accountant for one last look just to check it... I left it on top of a coffee machine. It was in an envelope," he says.

"I left it there when I was paying, they picked it up and I went running back to the coffee shop and the guy looked at me and I was sweating away. I [told him] I left an envelope, and he goes 'oh yeah, mate' and just grabs it off the top of the coffee machine and gives it to me."

He believes had it been found by a political rival, his career would have been over -- so he understands how the cop who left his gun in the toilet must feel.

"He's an amazing police officer and he's the most safety conscious guy... He'll be beating himself up terribly. I literally trust this guy with my life -- he is as good as it gets, but he's just made a terrible error."

The incident is still being investigated.