Election 2014

16 Oct 2008

Clark criticises behaviour of Key in debate

2:14 pm on 16 October 2008

Labour leader Helen Clark has accused National leader John Key of displaying "tantrum-like" behaviour during Tuesday night's televised leaders' debate.

The two party leaders went head-to-head in the first televised leaders' debate of the campaign, on TV One.

Helen Clark was asked on Wednesday what she meant when she responded to John Key's interjections by telling him "you can't shout over me like you shout over people at home".

She said she made that remark because Mr Key was displaying "tantrum-like behaviour" when she was making a valid point and he tried to scream her down. She said it was absolutely not a comment on Mr Key's domestic life.

John Key said he thought the comment "a bit offensive" but wouldn't overstate that - and said he does not shout at his wife.

He denied he threw a tantrum, and said it is up to the viewers to judge the pair's behaviour.

Miss Clark criticised the chairing of the debate by Television New Zealand host Mark Sainsbury, saying if a debate moderator is not actively controlling proceedings, the participants have to intervene themselves.