Collins 'unwise' to pass information to Slater

  • Breaking
  • 19/08/2014

Prime Minister John Key has conceded it was "unwise" for Judith Collins to give Cameron Slater a public servant's name, job title and phone number which was then used in an attack post on his Whale Oil blog.

However, John Key says no disciplinary action will be taken against the Justice Minister because the action pre-dated the final warning he gave Ms Collins over the Oravida scandal.

Mr Key says he still stands by the Justice Minister.

"I think the passing of private information, in terms of phone numbers, I think that's unwise. It's unwise of a Minister. Look in the end it's one of those things," Mr Key says.

An entire chapter of Nicky Hager's Dirty Politics book is devoted to Ms Collins and her relationship with Slater.

She has since admitted giving Slater the name and title of public servant Simon Pleasants, whom she suspected of leaking details about Finance Minister Bill English to Labour.

The following day, Slater publically named Mr Pleasants in a blog post drawing death threats against him.

Ms Collins has maintained Slater already knew Mr Pleasants' name, and she had just passed on his job title.

Earlier today, Finance Minister Bill English said he didn't condone the kind of conduct described in the book and it wasn't his style of politics. 

When asked if it was appropriate for Ms Collins to give the name to Slater, Mr English said it wasn't something he would do.

"I certainly wouldn't condone an attack by a blogger on a public servant doing their job."

He says digging dirt on politicians isn't anything new and he had been a target of it in the past, including over claiming a $700-a-week accommodation allowance while living in his family home.

Slater's attack on Mr Pleasants followed the release of the information.

"It can be hard on people. I know that. I've been on the wrong end of it from bloggers and journalists and media who didn't understand what was happening - that's part of the business," Mr English says.

Labour leader David Cunliffe says Mr English's comments only add to the number of questions Mr Key has to answer about the book.

"It's up to the Prime Minister to address the divisions in his party," he says.

Meanwhile the Green Party is calling on Mr Key to properly investigate Ms Collins' conduct in leaking the details of Mr Pleasants.

"It is simply unacceptable that Judith Collins has tried and found a public servant guilty of leaking information without any proof," co-leader Metiria Turei says.

"The Prime Minister cannot simply keep burying his head in the sand regarding Judith Collins' repeated indiscretions."

Ms Collins' actions are not worthy of a Minister of the Executive, she says.

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source: newshub archive