Tova O’Brien writes:
It should never have taken a scared young woman publicly laying out all the harrowing details of an alleged sexual assault for the Prime Minister to act.
The message Jacinda Ardern is sending is that she needed a young woman to risk being retraumatised and having her account of a serious sexual assault pasted online, in the media, for her to take it seriously.
Six weeks ago the Prime Minister and her office were alerted to the fact sexual assault allegations were taken to the Labour Party and that complainants said it formed part of an investigation by the party. Six weeks ago.
Which is why the media are so sceptical of the claim by the PM she had no idea there was a sexual assault allegation.
On the 5th and 6th of August Newshub had made it clear in reporting, and to the Prime Minister’s Office, that a violent sexual crime had been reported to the Labour Party by the alleged victim of the assault.
That should have been enough for the Prime Minister to request full details from the Labour Party about the sexual assault allegation and to then make the call she finally made to Nigel Haworth last Wednesday which precipitated his resignation as Party President.
Instead she received an assurance from the party that no allegations of a sexual nature had been raised nor investigated. For some unfathomable reason that was enough for the Prime Minister. She took the party on its word, sweet as, never mind the fact that young, scared members of her party were saying otherwise.
Note the bolded part about how Newshub communicated this directly to the PMs Office.
We’re now hearing that complainants’ names are being leaked and spread around the parliamentary gossip mill. Some complainants feel a witch hunt is underway.
Just getting messier.