Defensive PM insists Collins still on 'last chance'

Published: 9:06AM Tuesday August 19, 2014 Source: ONE News

Judith Collins is still on her "last chance" as the Prime Minister looks to distance himself from the latest allegations.

The Justice Minister is coming under increasing pressure to resign after the release of an email allegedly from her private email address to ultra right-wing blogger Cameron Slater containing the name, title and contact details of a senior civil servant.

"I think the passing of the private information, in terms of phone numbers, was unwise, it was unwise of a Minister. Look in the end it's one of those things," says Mr Key.

Mr Key had previously signalled Ms Collins was on thin ice after her dinner with Oravida executives and a Chinese border official was revealed earlier this year.

"She needs to be sacked - there is no way John Key can keep backing Judith Collins how many more warnings does she need," says Green Party co-leader Metiria Turei.

Earlier today, Mr Key abruptly walked away from waiting media after being quizzed about the allegations.

Mr Key could not confirm he had asked Ms Collins for the relevant emails when asked repeatedly by ONE News.

"I don't think she has those because they have obviously been hacked by a left-wing person."

Yesterday, Mr Key said he'd asked Ms Collins about the release of the civil servant's name, identified as Simon Pleasants, and she told him she'd only passed on the job title to the blogger.

It is alleged in Nicky Hager's Dirty Politics book the minister leaked private information and collaborated with Mr Slater, something she has emphatically denied.