Update: Crusher's defamation sideshow | The Jackal

2 Apr 2012

Update: Crusher's defamation sideshow

Earlier today, 3 News reported:

Prime Minister John Key has backed Ms Collins' legal action, and says she is within her rights to ask for crown funding for the case.

"The cabinet manual's quite clear that a minister can ask cabinet to consider that matter so let's see how it goes," he told TVNZ's Breakfast.

Mr Key said he was not sure whether a decision would be made by cabinet today.

Then after that cabinet meeting, Judith Collins announced:

“Even though I am fully entitled to do so, I have not asked Cabinet for funding.

“I trust that Mr Mallard and Mr Little are prepared to fund their own defence.

“Alternatively, there would be no cost and no case to answer if Mr Mallard, Mr Little and Radio New Zealand told the truth and presented their evidence.

“If they cannot do so, they should apologise and retract their comments,” said Ms Collins.

Trevor Mallard and Andrew Little have already said that they will pay for their own defence.

The NZ Herald reported:

A spokeswoman for Ms Collins was unable to say whether the minister had asked for Crown funding but did say the matter would cost the taxpayer nothing if Mr Mallard apologised or backed up his remarks with evidence.

The cabinet ministers meeting would have taken into account public opinion, which is resoundingly against the taxpayer funding the defamation side show.

Update: John Key has claimed that Judith Collins had already informed him that she would pay for her own defamation case prior to the cabinet meeting. The NZ Herald reports:

Prime Minister John Key said the matter was not discussed at yesterday's Cabinet meeting as Ms Collins had already decided not to ask her fellow ministers to approve the funding.

That was consistent with what she told him last Wednesday night when he first discussed the matter with her.

However during the interview with John Key prior to the cabinet meeting he said that Judith Collins was entitled to ask for funding to meet her defamation claim.

Why would he say that if Collins had already informed him that she had decided to pay for the defamation cases herself? This clearly shows that they are liars.