Darren Hughes -‘MAN ON THE MOON’ headlines (in election year) about an unproven allegation? Another corporate media ‘beat-up’? Serving whose interests?
ZPA and NBR staff | Thursday March 24, 2011 | 23 comments
Police inquiry could end MP’s career
The political career of one of Labour’s brightest young MPs could be ruined after Darren Hughes yesterday confirmed police were investigating a complaint laid against him by an 18-year-old male student.
Police said the alleged incident happened early in the morning of March 2 but would not reveal the substance of the complaint.
Mr Hughes, a third term senior MP, said he had done nothing wrong and identified himself because he didn’t want speculation to surround his colleagues.
Sexual rumours are swirling around Parliament and it has been reported police are interested in CCTV footage from two bars where Mr Hughes was drinking with a group of students, including the complainant, after a debate at Victoria University.
The alleged incident happened later at Mr Hughes’ home — the young man is reported to have left and stopped a passing police car.
Mr Hughes said he was confident that legal processes would “lead to the right outcome”.
Labour leader Phil Goff has sent Mr Hughes on two weeks leave and won’t comment on the substance of the complaint.
Mr Goff said Mr Hughes told him about the complaint two weeks ago, and blamed the Beehive for telling the media about it.
Other MPs said rumours had been around for a while, and Prime Minister John Key said he had heard them but knew very little.
NZPA understands the young man came to Parliament as a youth MP last year, sponsored by his local MP, not Mr Hughes, and is now at university.
Mr Goff is standing by Mr Hughes and says he accepts the MP’s word that he did nothing wrong.
He would not say where the incident happened — Mr Hughes boards with deputy leader Annette King — and said he didn’t know if police had searched Ms King’s home.
“You expect the highest standard of integrity in politics, and that’s what I expect of my MPs…it’s for the police to make a decision as to whether there’s any substance, and for me to then respond at that point,” Mr Goff said.
Mr Hughes was 24 when he was elected to Parliament in 2002 as MP for Otaki, and he was the youngest MP in the House during the two terms he held the seat.
He lost it in 2008 and returned as a list MP.
Mr Hughes is Labour’s education spokesman and shadow Leader of the House.
In the last government he held the roles of Statistics Minister, whip and deputy Leader of the House.
‘MAN ON THE MOON’ headlines about an allegation against Labour MP Darren Hughes, which the Police have yet to prosecute, let alone find him proven guilty in Court?
In this country you are presumed innocent until PROVEN guilty.
Looks to me to be rather similar to the concerted corporate media campaign before the 2008 election to discredit Winston Peters and NZ First?
Who stands to politically benefit from this arguably disproportionate media ‘beat up’ of an unproven allegation against someone who has been seen by many as a capable and promising young Labour Party MP?
I smell a rat the size of an elephant……
Effective Public Watchdog
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