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Did Linda Clark media train David Cunliffe? TV3, Labour leader won't confirm or deny

TV3 owner MediaWorks has issued a statement that does not confirm or deny if part-time presenter Linda Clark offered media training to Labour leader David Cunliffe.

Ms Clark acted as moderator on TV3's "The Debate" series, and also serves as a panelist on the broadcaster's current affairs show The Nation. Her day job is with law firm Kensington Swan.

"Because the firm she works for, Kensington Swan has a policy of never commenting on clients, in this case she is unable to confirm or deny any professional dealings with David Cunliffe," TV3 says in a statement.

Mr Cunliffe's office has also refused comment.

Linda Clark was involved with TV3's 2011 election coverage. The broadcaster says it has not named its coverage team for this year's election,"but if Linda was to be involved, the extent of her involvement would again be as a panellist."

Yesterday, as TVNZ encountered turbulance in the wake of a report revealing the extent of former presenter Shane Taurima's Labour Party organisation work using TVNZ resources, MediaWorks news director Mark Jennings told NBR no news staff had political party membership.

This morning, Labour leader David Cunliffe said he backed a decision by the party's council to block Mr Taurima's bid to seek the nomination for the Tāmaki Makaurau (Auckland) Maori electorate.


RAW DATA: TV3 statement on Linda Clark's alleged role training David Cunliffe

Linda Clark is one of the country’s most experienced and most astute political commentators.

In her work to date as a commentator for TV3, Linda has withdrawn from situations or made a public declaration where a potential conflict of interest exists with her work as a lawyer.

Last year, Linda acted as moderator for TV3 debate programme The Vote, and she has also been one of many commentators on The Nation.

She has never been employed by TV3 as a journalist, interviewer or host.

Because the firm she works for, Kensington Swan has a policy of never commenting on clients, in this case she is unable to confirm or deny any professional dealings with David Cunliffe.

In 2011, Linda was a panellist in TV3’s Election Night coverage.  TV3 has not announced its team for this year’s Election coverage, but if Linda was to be involved, the extent of her involvement would again be as a panellist on Election Night.

In the past we have trusted Linda to withdraw from any commentary work if she felt she had a conflict of interest.  She is a very experienced operator and we have never had reason to doubt her judgement.

We will continue to review Linda’s involvement in our programmes on a case-by-case basis, taking into account that her role is clearly defined as a commentator and panellist, not a journalist, interviewer or host.

Comments and questions
4

C'mon Mr Cunliffe where art thou "open and honest" leader of Labour?.

One rule for the peasants, and another rule for David 'Leafy Suburb' Cunliffe?

Watching Cunliffe on TV you could be forgiven for thinking he's been trained by the National party.

Maybe the question should be what current members of the Press Gallery have, or are still, media training politicians.