They're at it again. The heavies from LabourFirst tried to get the Maori Party to vote for Winston yesterday, using standover tactics and threats - Stuff reports:
Maori Party co-leader Pita Sharples says a New Zealand First staffer and Government minister tried to put pressure on his party over how it would vote in yesterday's censure motion against Winston Peters.
The Maori Party, National, the Greens, ACT, United Future and independents Gordon Copeland and Taito Phillip Field backed the censure motion, with Labour and NZ First opposed.
Jim Anderton broke ranks with Labour and abstained.
The vote was to censure the New Zealand First leader following recommendations in a privileges committee report that found him in contempt for failing to declare the $100,000 that was used to pay the fees of his lawyer Brian Henry.
Today Dr Sharples said he was "disappointed" over attempts to influence his party.
"I personally had two separate phone calls from a senior minister urging me to vote in favour of Winston, and suggesting that there would be unpleasant repercussions from Maori people if I didn't," he said in a statement.
"Both (fellow co-leader) Tariana Turia and myself were disgusted with this kind of activity, aimed at perverting the course of justice and fair play."
Dr Sharples said Mr Peters' fate would be decided at the election.
"His populist antics versus our integrity," Dr Sharples said.
It's just as well that "This is an election about trust" eh - because you can sure trust the Labour Party to dish the dirt around!
UPDATE: DPF has the full media release from Pita Sharples
UPDATE #2: Newstalk ZB leads the 2pm bulletin with the headline "Maori Party accuses senior government Minister of blackmail". And Barry Soper has just come from a media conference with Pita Sharples, and says the evidence points to Parekura Horomia, even though Sharples won't name names.