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Speaker 'effectively clears' Dunne of misleading committee

Published: 2:56PM Thursday July 11, 2013 Source: ONE News

United Future leader Peter Dunne says he has been "effectively cleared" after the Speaker of the House ruled that he did not deliberately mislead Parliament when he denied leaking a top-level Government spy report.

Today, Speaker David Carter dismissed a breach of privilege complaint, submitted by the Labour Party.

It followed the publication of the Henry Report into the leaking of a review into the Government Communications Security Bureau (GCSB), prepared by Rebecca Kitteridge.

Fall-out from the Henry Report saw Mr Dunne lose his position as Associate Health Minister, after it pointed him out as the leaker.

Mr Dunne today said the Speaker's decision had "effectively" cleared his name.

"I welcome the Speaker's decision to dismiss the complaint and his ruling that my answers did not deliberately mislead the Finance and Expenditure Committee, nor were in contempt of Parliament," he said.

"Although the Henry Report made no allegation against me, nor challenged any of my evidence, its excessive focus on circumstantial matters led to unfounded inferences and innuendoes that have not only damaged my reputation, but also made it impossible for me to continue as a Minister.

"Today's ruling that I did not deliberately mislead the Finance and Expenditure Committee effectively clears me, which I welcome, and it means I can now move forward with confidence once more and put this unfortunate whole situation behind me," he said.

Mr Dunne said the last few weeks had been "extremely difficult" for him and his family, and added his "appreciation for the huge public support we have received".

Meanwhile, Mr Carter has upheld a complaint lodged by the Green Party against Prime Minister John Key following revelations Mr Dunne's Parliamentary email logs were accessed without authority.

"It is not clear that the Henry Inquiry had any lawful right to access Peter Dunnes email account without his permission," said party co-leader Dr Russel Norman.
"It is essential to democracy that MPs email accounts are protected from surveillance by the Prime Minister."

The complaint will now go before the Privileges Committee.