PM must explain Saudi sheep scandal backflips

John Key’s explanations of the Saudi sheep scandal continue to be riddled with inconsistencies and irreconcilable backflips, Labour’s Trade Spokesperson David Parker says.

“Either he has been misled by his Minister Murray McCully or the Prime Minister is deliberately obfuscating in order to confuse the public;

  • Having stated the upfront $4 million payment to the Al Khalaf group was to settle a legal claim caused by Labour, John Key on Thursday admitted that Al Khalaf had ‘no cause of action’.
  • Having stated that Al Khalaf had no ongoing financial interest in the 900 sheep flown to the $7m plus model farm in the desert, New Zealand Trade and Enterprise on Thursday conceded the New Zealand Government had no financial interest in the sheep, or their lambs. These must then have passed completely to the Al Khalaf group.

“The Prime Minister is the person New Zealand relies on to uphold this country’s standards and reputation internally and internationally. This scandal is undermining New Zealand's reputation for fair dealing, for humane treatment of animals and for excellence in agriculture.

“The facilitation payment has sullied our reputation for fair dealing.

“The Labour Party will continue to hold the Prime Minister, and his Ministers, to account. New Zealanders have the right to expect those they have elected to work ethically and in the best interests of our country,” David Parker says.