4 Sep 2009

Complaints against ACT MP not upheld

3:23 pm on 4 September 2009

The Speaker of the House has decided not to uphold two privileges complaints against ACT MP David Garrett.

The complaints centre around incidents during sessions of Parliament's law and order select committee.

In the first complaint, Labour Party MP Clayton Cosgrove accused Mr Garrett of bullying people at select committee.

During a hearing on private prisons legislation, Mr Garrett told two prison guards their submission would stop them getting a job in a privately-run prison.

The second complaint stemmed from a closed, select committee session.

Labour MP Carmel Sepuloni alleged that Mr Garrett challenged Mr Cosgrove to "take this outside" following an exchange between the men.

Speaker Lockwood Smith has not upheld the complaints, with his office saying it was found there was no question of privilege to answer.

Mr Garrett says the complaints were a waste of time and resources and little more than a publicity stunt by the Labour MPs.

However, Mr Cosgrove says Mr Garrett's behaviour has fallen short of that expected of an MP.

Mr Cosgrove believes there was a breach of privilege, but says the final decision lies with the Speaker.