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Maurice Williamson given all clear for Ellen appearance

Published: 6:03AM Monday April 22, 2013 Source: ONE News

Prime Minister John Key has given Maurice Williamson permission to appear on US talk show Ellen.

Talk show host Ellen DeGeneres invited the Pakuranga MP to appear on her show, after his speech on the Marriage Equality Bill went viral last week.

Williamson's speech featured on the show last Wednesday in the US, after Parliament passed a law which made gay marriage legal.

His speech talked about "big, gay rainbows" and how he had been warned he would "burn for eternity" if he voted in favour of the bill.

Normally politicians are not allowed to take up the offer of a paid trip, but Prime Minister John Key told TV ONE's Breakfast this morning that Williamson "can absolutely go".

"Anyone who has seen Maurice speak before, the good people of Pakuranga, will know what I'm talking about, he is very funny."

"He is ferociously bright, he's always had that incredibly witty sense of humour and I don't think that he did an awful lot of planning for that speech."

The Prime Minister says rules surrounding actors equity mean people who appear on such shows have to be paid - but as long as Maurice Williamson donates the fee to charity, it will be fine.

YouTube clips of Williamson's speech have hit 15 million views and there are now versions with Chinese and Spanish subtitles.