Brendan Horan expelled from party
VERNON SMALL, TRACY WATKINS AND ANDREA VANCE
NZ First leader Winston Peters has expelled his Brendan Horan from the party after receiving "substantive material" that caused him to lose confidence in the MP.
He sought leave to make a personal explanation and said allegations had been made against MP Brendan Horan relating to a family matter.
Mr Peters told Parliament "substantive information has come into my possession some as recently as 2.15 this afternoon."
"The information we have received leaves me in a position where I have no confidence in Mr Horan's ability to continue as a member of parliament and he will be expelled from the NZ First caucus forthwith."
Mr Peters said Mr Horan had a duty to resign as a Member of Parliament.
"This is a bitterly regrettable situation but we had to place our decision on the public record as soon as we were in a position to make it. The nature of this inquiry means I am unable to make any further comment outside Parliament.
"The allegations were of a nature that they should be treated seriously."
"Speaker Lockwood Smith interrupted Peters to point out his personal explanation should relate to him not another member."
Peters said he was required to conduct a full inquiry into the matters relating to Horan and he wanted to report the results of that to the House.
The NZ First leader is concerned the issue will drag on and cast a pall over the party, but a statement from Horan's solicitor today indicated he intended to stay as a MP.
Peters said the statement from Horan's lawyer had been passed to him by the media, but he had not yet read it.
"Look I'm not responding to someone else's press statement," he said.
In the statement, lawyer Paul Mabey said as a result of the death of Horan's mother various issues had arisen concerning the administration of her estate.
"Those matters are private and personal to the family. Unfortunately some persons, for their own reasons, have chosen to make them public.
"Mr Horan has been the subject of unwarranted and unfair publicity which has implied that he is dishonest and has stolen from his mother. There can be no other interpretation of that publicity.
"Mr Horan completely denies any suggestion that he has stolen from his mother or misappropriated her money or assets.
"He regrets that a private and personal family matter has been made public and his only wish is that the issues concerning his mother's estate are resolved quickly and properly.
"He invites any investigation into his mother's affairs and is confident that any proper investigation will exonerate him entirely.
"Mr Horan will make no personal comment at all on these matters, but has instructed that this release be made on his behalf.
"As far as Mr Horan is concerned the sooner these matters are resolved the better as he will then be able to return to his work as a Member of Parliament to concentrate on fulfilling his duties without the distraction of false and unjustified allegations."
- © Fairfax NZ News
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