Winston Peters says alleged Parliamentary rapist is not MP, staffer

Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters says the alleged serial sexual offender at Parliament is not an MP or Parliamentary staffer.

"It is not a parliamentarian and it is not a parliamentary staffer - that's number one - all the parties are clear on this matter," Peters said on Wednesday. 

"You just can't go out and have an allegation where everybody's now under scrutiny when none of them should have been."

When asked what that's based on, Peters said: "It's based on going and finding out, because I wasn't prepared to hear what I heard this morning."

"I found that absolutely repugnant, not correct in any way, shape or form, and we're not going to sit back here and take these sorts of allegations.

"We've asked: put up, give us the facts, and put it clear with the media right now."

His comments come after party leaders met with the Speaker Trevor Mallard over a damning report into bullying and harassment in Parliament, which detailed a toxic culture including instances of sexual assault.

Mallard told Newshub there was a "serial sexual offender" and that he believed rape had been committed and it was likely that the perpetrator still worked at Parliament.

"We're talking about serious sexual assault, well that, for me, that's rape... that is the impression I get from the report, yes," he told Radio New Zealand.

"Reading the report carefully I get the sense that the man is still on the premises."

Identity of the perpetrators
 

The report didn't identify who the accused bullies and sexual offenders were - which Mallard said was integral to the review.

"The basis of this report was that people were free to come and talk to Debbie Francis in the absolute knowledge that their positions would be secure, they wouldn't be reported and that they would be supported where appropriate to take complaints to the police, or to their management, or to their party leaders."

Not even he knows the identity of some of the bullies and it's unlikely he will unless victims go to police. All records of the inquiry will be destroyed to protect those who have given evidence.

"Debbie Francis [the reviewer] has acted absolutely properly and has not passed on any names to me, and in fact the records will be destroyed because that was the undertaking given to the people who were giving evidence.

"If people want to make complaints, and they will be really supported if they do make complaints… then the people can be identified that way, but they are not going to be identified out of a process where they were guaranteed confidentiality because if we did that people would have never have come forward.

"The police will be involved if the people who have been assaulted are prepared to have them involved."

Newshub.

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