The Dom Post reports:
The firebrand MP is in hot water again after claims that he challenged a Labour MP to “take this outside” during heated exchanges in a select committee. …
ACT leader Rodney Hide said he was not aware of the complaint, but dismissed the claims. “When the Labour Party says things, my experience is they’re not true.”
Rodney has a fair point, but it is also true David has taken a fair while to shall we say adjust to the way Parliament and MPs should operate. Not having been there, I have no idea what really happened.
Prime Minister John Key says if allegations against ACT MP David Garrett are true, Parliament should take a hard line in disciplining him.
That is a good attitude for the PM. I recall a previous PM who refused to comment in any way negatively about conduct of Government MPs not from her party. You gained the impression that if Winston has opened up with a machine gun on Lampton Quay, Helen’s response would be something along the lines of “Winston’s murdering of 87 civilians and three police officers on Lampton Quay was done in his capacity as an MP, not as a Minister and hence is an internal matter for NZ First to comment on. As Prime Minister I have no responsibility for what Mr Peters does as Leader of NZ First”
UPDATE: From NZPA:
ACT leader Rodney Hide says his MP David Garrett did not threaten a Labour MP.
Labour alleged Mr Garrett suggested he and Labour’s Clayton Cosgrove “take this outside” during an argument in a closed session of Parliament’s law and order select committee.
However, Mr Hide says he said “let’s just leave that outside”, meaning “let’s get on with the work.” …
Mr Hide told NZPA he was angry and accused Labour of making up allegations, laying complaints that would fail in order to get media attention; and abusing the process by making public details of a closed session of a parliamentary committee.
He said Labour leader Phil Goff had set a bad example by putting out partial stories to grab headlines.
“If they thought they had a case against David Garrett, and the allegation is a serious one, they would have done it properly, put it to the Speaker and shut up,” he said.
“If someone had threatened another MP in a way that was a breach of privilege it would be very serious indeed, and be sent off to the privileges committee to be handled properly. You wouldn’t be running off to the media.”
If the Speaker decided there was no case to answer Labour should apologise, Mr Hide said.
Rodney makes a good point – if you know your case is strong you don’t pursue it through the media.