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Darren Hughes resigns from Parliament


Troubled Labour MP Darren Hughes has resigned from Parliament.

NBR staff
Fri, 25 Mar 2011

Troubled Labour MP Darren Hughes has resigned from Parliament.

Labour Leader Phil Goff announced the resignation this evening from his electorate office in Auckland.

He said Mr Hughes made the decision on his own this afternoon, believing it was in the best interest of the Labour Party while police investigations were carried out.

However he maintained he had committed no offence.

Earlier this week Mr Hughes was stripped of his responsibilities as education spokesman and chief whip, amid controversy sparked by a complaint to police against him from an 18-year-old male student.

Mr Goff said he supported Mr Hughes' decision.

“Events of the past few days have made it increasingly clear to Darren that the controversy around the allegations made against him has made it impossible to carry out his duties," said Mr Goff.

“In reaching that decision he is adamant that he has committed no offence. He needs to focus on clearing his name."

Mr Hughes said his position as an MP was no longer tenable.

"Although people are commonly thought to be innocent until proven guilty, it has become clear to me that this doesn't apply in the political arena," he said.

"I have done nothing wrong, and I remain confident that the legal process will have the right outcome.

"My immediate focus is on clearing my name. I will continue to co-operate fully with the Police inquiry, which will unfortunately need to continue in the glare of publicity."

Mr Hughes said he was not prepared for the investigation to provide a distraction for the Labour Party in the lead-up to the election. 

Labour Party president Andrew Little has said that although Judith Tizard is next on the party list, there is no guarantee someone would want to enter parliament just a few months before the general election in November. Mark Burton is the next on the list after Ms Tizard.

Mr Little also said the Labour list would be different for the election.

NBR staff
Fri, 25 Mar 2011
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Darren Hughes resigns from Parliament
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