John Key thrown out of Parliament over Panama Papers row video

ROSANNA PRICE/Stuff.co.nz

MPs talk about the Prime Minister getting kicked out of the debating chamber.

John Key has been kicked out of the House by the Speaker for the first time since being elected Prime Minister.

Key was made to leave the debating chamber after he continued to talk over top of Speaker David Carter after he rose to his feet.

"Obviously I just didn't see him, didn't hear him, I was in the middle of an answer," he said after leaving the House.

inthehouseNZ / YouTube

Prime Minister John Key has been told to leave question time.

"I was talking to James Shaw but you know (the Speaker) makes the call."

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Speaker David Carter ordered Prime Minister John Key to leave the house.

Speaker David Carter ordered Prime Minister John Key to leave the house.


Key said he had "never been kicked out as Prime Minister before."

While his office confirmed, based on information from the Clerk's office, that Key had never been asked to leave the House at any point since becoming an MP -  the Parliamentary Library's record shows this is his fourth occasion.

The Library confirmed Key was asked to leave the debating chamber twice in 2006 and once in 2007 while he was Opposition leader.

A spokesman from Key's office said the Parliamentary Library's record was accurate.

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Key had been in heated debate with Opposition politicians over his claim Greenpeace was listed in the Panama Papers data base.

Greenpeace called it a sham reference.

Key was answering a question from Greens co-leader James Shaw about why the Prime Minister wouldn't apologise to Greenpeace for wrongly implicating them in the Panama Papers.

"I don't like the fact that they're there but they are there so in what way have I misrepresented them?" Key said.

"I think the member should do this, I think he should get on his feet and say, John, on Saturday night I went on TV..."

At that point Carter cut off Key's microphone and rose to his feet and demanded order but Key continued to shout across the House at Shaw.

Carter said the same thing had happened yesterday and he had given Key a "fair warning" and he was to be treated "no differently to anyone else in this chamber".

He then told the Prime Minister to leave.

According to the Parliamentary Library Labour Prime Ministers David Lange and Helen Clark both have a record of being ejected from the House - Lange twice in both 1986 and 1987 and Clark in 2005.

NO APOLOGY

Before heading into the house on Wednesday, Key told waiting media he would not apologise for mentioning Greenpeace. 

"No, look it's a statement of fact actually that Greenpeace are in the database - they are a beneficiary, as you can see, of the exodus trust. 

"And I think what it goes to prove actually is that a lot of New Zealanders are having their name dragged across the TV set every night, who are unwittingly implicated simply by going about and doing their things. 

"They have no knowledge of what's happening at all."

That was the "real danger" of the database. 

"[Greenpeace] are in the database, I'm not making it up. I mean, you go into the database, you type in Greenpeace and they come up. 

"And that's not the only issue, I mean last night we saw a situation where Deborah Pead's name was right across the TV set and she's done absolutely nothing wrong. 

"I mean that's essentially my message to New Zealanders; there's some serious issues for us to consider out of the Panama Papers, the Government takes the issue seriously," he said.

It was a "tragic sullying" of the names of some people. 

MP REACTION

Labour leader Andrew Little and Green Party co-leader James Shaw teamed up outside the debating chamber to criticise Key's behaviour.

Little said Key had "developed a routine of denying, distracting, and then demeaning when he's on the back foot on an issue".

"His point of attack now is distract, throw various dead cats on the table so you start talking about that, and when that doesn't work, then start demeaning people."

Shaw said voters would be appalled by the behaviour of many MPs during Question Time, and they needed to lift their standards.

"I think there ought to be a code of conduct for members of Parliament that really lifts our standard of behaviour - I mean, it's the highest office in the land, you ought to live up to it."

However, Key's fellow ministers were quick to defend their leader.

Deputy Prime Minister Bill English said Key did not intentionally talk over the top of the Speaker.

"I think it was accidental actually - he was simply addressing the Greens vigorously and he simply didn't see the Speaker stand up."

English did not think the public would be concerned about Key's ejection, as they knew Parliament was "a pretty robust place for debate".

Economic Development Minister Steven Joyce said the issue was a matter for Key and Carter, adding: "I don't think somebody with my pay grade would be commenting on those matters."

Joyce did not believe Question Time was out of control, saying the "hurly burly of the House" affected MPs from time to time.

Environment Minister Nick Smith said Key's record in the House was exemplary compared to his own.

"Given the fact that I've probably been booted out of the House many more times than the Prime Minister, I'd be the last to judge."

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