The opposition want blood, and Bill English is the next obvious taget

Photo: RNZ / Supplied

RNZ’s Jane Patterson writes

A departure in September means the MP for Clutha-Southland does not have to put ‘resigned his seat’ on his CV, and gives him time to line up another job before he relinquishes his parliamentary pay cheque.

While this eases the pressure on the Prime Minister, the events of the last few days have cast a shadow over Bill English’s credibility.

I think it’s fairly clear what Bill did.  And why.   The problem is that he’s taken a position on both sides of the facts, and he can’t reconcile them now.

But the handling of this controversy over the last 48 hours has been a shambles, and has exposed Mr English to accusations of deceit and cover-ups.

He said making a statement to the police hardly constitutes a cover-up.

The Labour Party can hardly believe its luck after a couple of trying months of its own. …

New Zealand First leader Winston Peters draws an unfavourable comparison between the enthusiasm with which the police pursued cameraman Bradley Ambrose over the ‘teapot tapes’ and how he says they “pulled their punches” when an MP was on the other side of the charge sheet.

The National Party will now be wanting to put this week firmly behind it, and concentrate on its election-year Congress in Wellington.

However while Mr Barclay remains a National MP, any further consequences – either by police action or revelations in the media – will continue to drag on his party, and potentially the Prime Minister.

This has indeed the potential to fester away up to the election.  It won’t hurt Barclay.  But it has the potential to continue to erode Bill English’s position as having been the one involved in the cover-up in the first place.

On the good side, the government is getting a break from the unanswerable questions about immigration, housing shortages and increasing shortfalls in health and education.



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As much at home writing editorials as being the subject of them, Cam has won awards, including the Canon Media Award for his work on the Len Brown/Bevan Chuang story. When he’s not creating the news, he tends to be in it, with protagonists using the courts, media and social media to deliver financial as well as death threats.

They say that news is something that someone, somewhere, wants kept quiet. Cam Slater doesn’t do quiet and, as a result, he is a polarising, controversial but highly effective journalist who takes no prisoners.

He is fearless in his pursuit of a story.

Love him or loathe him, you can’t ignore him.

To read Cam’s previous articles click on his name in blue.