HDPA: Haworth's resignation doesn't change anything - PM still must front up

Author
Heather du Plessis-Allan,
Section
Opinion,
Publish Date
Wednesday, 11 September 2019, 5:09PM
Nigel Haworth, right, resigned today over his handling of sexual assault allegations. (Photo / NZ Herald)

Nigel Haworth is gone.

The Labour Party president has resigned this afternoon over the staffer sex allegations scandal.

This is classic political management. Offer up a scalp, hope it kills the story off.

If that’s what Labour’s trying to do, I don’t think it’s going to work, because this solves nothing..

There’s still a guy working for the Labour Party who is accused of very serious sexual assault crimes. There are still questions about whether the Prime Minister has been honest with the country. Getting rid of Haworth doesn’t solve either of those problems.

A really cynical reading of this situation would be that Haworth hasn’t been sacrificed because of the mistreatment of the complainants. If that was the case, he would’ve been ditched weeks ago when it became obvious that the the Labour Party had done wrong by them.

Haworth has been sacrificed to save the Prime Minister’s reputation by taking the heat off her. But as I said, the questions remain: Has she been dishonest?

She said she only found out two days ago that the allegations were of sex crimes, but as we showed you yesterday, Mike Hosking asked her on his show about it as long as five weeks ago.

And there only two ways you can read this. Either she misled us, or she was misled. 

To believe that she was misled, you need to believe that after every interview when a member of the media asked her about sex allegations, she went to her staffers and fellow MPs and Labour Party officials and asked them if the allegations were of sex crimes, and those people told her no.

Why would they do that? To give her plausible deniability?  Because they don’t trust her with the truth? Because they don’t think she, the PM, needs to know?

Why wouldn't she start to get suspicious?  Wouldn’t you?  If the guy’s not coming into work and the media keep saying the same thing?  Wouldn't’ you start demanding to know what the heck is going on?

No, this doesn’t solve anything.

It might’ve solved something if Haworth resigned a couple of weeks ago. But now this is bigger than him. This is about the Prime Minister - her integrity and her competency.

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