Labour reckons they have lost respect for the Prime Minister…but did he ever have their respect?
Prime Minister John Key “acted like a clown” when he accused the opposition of “backing the rapists”, Labour deputy leader Annette King says.
Key caused uproar at Parliament when he said on Tuesday that the Labour Party was supporting rapists, murderers and child molesters among Kiwi detainees at Australia’s Christmas Island detention centre.
A number of female MPs from the opposition staged a protest and walkout against Key and Speaker David Carter on Wednesday, after Carter said he had not heard the original comment and was therefore powerless to make Key apologise.
King told TV3’s Paul Henry she supported her colleagues who had walked out and denied that opposition MPs had over-reacted to Key’s remarks.
“You had to be there in the heat of the chamber, where passions were high.”
However, National MP Judith Collins said Parliament had a “robust debating chamber”, and MPs who walked out would not be looked on favourably by some of the public.
“If you want to go walk out, understand that the public are going to view it in one of two ways: one, they’ll agree with you, or the second one, they’ll say, ‘We’re paying your wages, let’s get back to work’.”
Collins said the second, premeditated walkout on Wednesday may also have undermined respect for Parliament.
“it’s a tough place, and when it’s [the walkout] staged like that, and it was clearly staged, it loses some of its power.”
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