No secret over Key's lunch with lord

Last updated 16:10 26/10/2011
Lord Ashcroft
Lord Michael Ashcroft

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Prime Minister John Key says it is no secret he had lunch with British billionaire Lord Michael Ashcroft who was in New Zealand for the Rugby World Cup final.

The pair met at the public restaurant of an upmarket Auckland hotel, on Saturday.

"I see him every time he comes to New Zealand."

The former deputy chairman of the British Conservative Party and founder of the international non-profit organisation Crimestoppers also met with Key before the 2008 election.

Key said the pair discussed the financial crisis facing Europe and politics in general but the billionaire did not offer him any advice on next month's election.

Lord Ashcroft has donated millions to the British Conservative Party but cannot donate to National because under the Electoral Finance Act only New Zealand citizens or registered electors living overseas can donate more than $1000 to a political party.

He became well known in New Zealand when he offered a $200,000 reward for the return war medals stolen from the Waiouru Army Museum.

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