Clare Curran ripped into rivals

ANDREA VANCE
Last updated 12:28 09/07/2014
 Clare Curran
SLEDGE PLEDGE: Labour's Dunedin South MP Clare Curran has attacked rival MPs despite leader David Cunliffe's promise of a positive election campaign.

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It seems Labour leader David Cunliffe's "sledge pledge", in which he promised a "positive" election campaign, was too late for Dunedin South MP Clare Curran.

Curran has branded rival MPs nasty, homophobic and foul-mouthed in an interview with Otago University student magazine Critic.

The article was published online on Sunday - as Cunliffe was delivering a keynote speech - but the interview took place six weeks ago.

Cunliffe said the election campaign was "not about dirty tricks or dodgy deals, smear campaigns and a personality cult".

"We want to run a clean, positive campaign."

Curran alleged in the interview Third Whip Jami-Lee Ross had made homophobic comments about NZ First MP Denis O'Rourke during a parliamentary debate.

Ross said he didn't take much notice of Curran.

"Not too many people do," he said.

"I'm not homophobic. I proudly stood and voted in favour of same-sex marriage and I don't share those views at all. I don't know what Clare is on about."

Ross had some advice for Curran about "positive" campaigning.

"Just keep doing what she's doing. It seems to be working."

CURRAN: I DON'T ALWAYS GET IT RIGHT

Curran said the interview with Critic took place six weeks ago.

"It was a university magazine. The interviewer... was pushing me, I suppose so I gave her some honest answers," Curran said.

Although she wouldn't repeat the remark, she said she was "very upset" about Ross' comment.

"I don't think that calling someone out on really ugly behaviour is sledging ... I'm not attacking anybody personally."

She also criticised National's Environment Minister Amy Adams for remarks about Labour MP Jacinda Ardern.

"I have made a commitment locally to be respectful in my local campaign with all of the people on the hustings. And I hope that they will do the same ... I just practice what I preach, really. I don't always get it right."

In the Critic interview, Curran said Prime Minster John Key was her least favourite MP and added that Attorney-General Chris Finlayson was nasty.

She also called North Shore MP Maggie Barry foul-mouthed. 

The original headline on this article gave the incorrect impression that Curran made the comments about her political rivals after Cunliffe's "sledge pledge" was made. 

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