Grumpy Labour Party President Mike Williams has been caught out lying on national television, over allegations he backed a proposal to use Government agency brochures as Labour electioneering.
TVNZ obtained an audio recording from the party's recent congress, where a member raised the idea of using KiwiSaver and Working for Families pamphlets to promote Labour in election year, and get around the financial limits under the Electoral Finance Act.
The member didn't seem to have any moral objections to party activists using pamphlets from supposedly neutral Government departments to promote Labour, and thought they were actually "better than having Labour Party material".
Appearing on TV One's Agenda programmme on Sunday morning, Williams vehemently denied he said the proposal was "a damn good idea", and claimed that "according to people there [he] did not respond with it was a good idea". He slammed the saga as "an incredible media beatup, and arguably never happened".
Of course at that stage Williams believed it was his word against TV One's Political Editor Guyon Espiner, and had no idea that TVNZ had managed to obtain an audio recording of his exact words.
Faced with that audio evidence later in the day, Williams went into backtrack mode, claiming he didn't hear the suggestion properly (it seemed pretty clear to most people's ears) and was simply keen to move the session along.
The Labour Party is attempting to brush off the matter, while the National Party is calling for Williams to resign. Bill English says Labour suffers from a "culture of deceit", and Labour's president has "misled the public again in a bid to hide Labour's plans to break the law."
* Mike Williams' "Liargate" video from One News (with editing by Whaleoil)...
Posted at 7:21 pm