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Worth selling off more shares

Published: 6:23PM Thursday April 02, 2009 Source: ONE News

Internal Affairs Minister Richard Worth has admitted he is selling off yet more shares in companies with Indian connections.

The move follows continuing claims that Worth has been caught out in a serious conflict of interest and the minister has been scrambling to answer questions about his business dealings.

Worth has been under scrutiny for travelling to India on a private business trip while being feted as a minister of the Crown and his own leader has given him a public dressing down, saying while Worth's actions were not sinister, they were "stupid".

The opposition has been quick to capitalise, with Labour's Annette King asking how long John Key intended retaining "a stupid and unwise minister".

Deputy leader Bill English says the Prime Minister stands by his statement that some of the minister's actions were unwise and Worth has set about correcting those actions.

He has resigned several directorships but there are now questions about why he still holds shares in a company with Indian connections.

Company documents show that on September 19 last year Richard Worth was appointed a director of WSD Global Markets.

Five thousand shares are recorded as being transferred to him the day before the election and he became a minister 12 days later but didn't resign as a company director until January 1.

Worth says the shares in that company are held by his family trust and are in the process of being sold.

He has also been updating electronic encyclopaedia records about his dealings. He edited the Wikipedia website to record instead of a "potential" conflict of interest that there was only a perception of one.

That earned him another telling off - not from the Prime Minister this time, but the website editors.

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