Source: Taxpayers Union
SPEAKER’S POSITION NOW UNTENABLE
24 MARCH 2021FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASEResponding to revelations being reported by Newstalk ZB that the Speaker threatened to plead truth and bad reputation against the victim of his false rape allegation – after the Speaker has acknowledged he knew the claim to be false – the Taxpayers’ Union says it leaves the Prime Minister no choice but to find a new Speaker.
“Most New Zealanders would agree that someone who threatens to lie to a Court is not suitable to be an MP, let alone the Speaker,” says Jordan Williams, a spokesman for the Taxpayers’ Union. “This matter has changed from one involving a defamation, to one striking the heart of Mr Mallard’s honesty, integrity, and suitability to be an MP.”
“It appears Mr Mallard has sought to threaten the victim – that he would repeat the allegation he is a rapist, knowing it to be untrue, if the victim took legal action to protect his reputation. It is difficult to imagine more disgraceful conduct from someone in a position of power.”
“Putting aside the issue of the ‘threat’, the key question is did Mr Mallard in fact plead truth in pleadings to the High Court? Given his admission to Select Committee that he knew the rape allegation to be wrong ‘within 24 hours’ Mr Mallard was clearly threatening to mislead the Court. Alternatively he’s misled Parliament – which for a Speaker is arguably even worse.”
“To falsely claim something is true would have caused the damages amount payable to skyrocket. It is simply not credible for the Speaker to continue to rely on taxpayers to pick up the tab.”
“A defamation insurer underwriting Mr Mallard would have required Mr Mallard to take all steps to minimise the damage, or he’d lose cover. Here Mr Mallard has done the opposite and doubled down – taxpayers should not be on the hook.”
New Zealanders are encouraged to sign the petition calling on Mr Mallard to pay back taxpayers for the monies used to settle Mr Mallard’s outrageous defamation: www.taxpayers.org.nz/trevor
Questions the Prime Minister should be asking Trevor Mallard and his lawyers:
Did he in fact follow through on the threat? Did he plead truth in any Statement of Defences filed?
When did he inform his lawyers that he knew the rape claim to be false? Why did he not inform them immediately upon realising the claim was false?
Why did it take 18 months to issue the apology? How much more in damages did his subsequent behaviour (including the refusal to apologise, and the ‘threat’ after the initial publication) cost the taxpayer?
Was the Prime Minister aware that Mr Mallard knew the rape claim to be false but was threatening the victim to claim it was true anyway?
Did former Deputy Speaker Anne Tolley know that Trevor Mallard was defending the court case with defences he knew to be dishonest when she made the decision to approve taxpayer funding of Linda Clark / Kensington Swan’s fees? If not, how will that decision be reviewed in light of these new revelations?