Key trusts Banks as opposition attacks
"Brand Key is now heavily tainted by the very flawed John Banks."Featured comment
The heat is expected to go on ACT leader John Banks in parliament today over his 2010 mayoral campaign donations saga.
Files released by the police last week show he allegedly misled Prime Minister John Key when he told him he could not remember donations received from internet mogul Kim Dotcom and SkyCity.
Opposition parties are lining up to make the most of it this week, with Labour expected to launch an attack during question time today.
However, Mr Key remains confident Mr Banks told the truth and complied with the law.
He believes Labour’s attack is simply politically motivated as the party did not care about the issue when the Epsom MP unsuccessfully stood for the Auckland mayoralty.
He has not personally asked Mr Banks about the situation because he does not think it is his job to "forensically analyse" the information.
“Through my office, I’ve asked the minister whether he’s complied with the law, the advice he’s given me is he has and I accept him at his word.
"I trust John Banks … I accept him at his word. If I‘m proven otherwise, then that’s a different issue.”
Asked his thoughts on Mr Banks conversation with his lawyer, during which he discussed Dotcom’s electoral donations, Mr Key repeatedly said there was always going to be a broad interpretation of the law and a variety of opinions.
“There is always a wide variation in the interpretation of a conversation. My understanding is the law’s quite broad at the moment.
"It’s quite possible and legitimate for someone to speak to a donor about wanting to donate. It’s quite legitimate under the current law to say if they wanted to do so, they can do so anonymously.
People have their own interpretation of the conversations… There are always people who have a different interpretation of a conversation.”