26 Dec 2010

US upset at Hobbs' role in film screening

1:09 pm on 26 December 2010

A WikiLeaks cable has revealed that United States diplomats were panicked about the film Fahrenheit 9/11 being screened as a Labour Party fundraiser.

The cable, from July 2004, says a potential fiasco was avoided when Government minister Marian Hobbs stepped back from hosting the event.

The documentary is critical of America's response to the September 11 attacks.

The cable details how the then-US Ambassador, Charles Swindells, approached the offices of both the prime minister and Ms Hobbs about the screening.

It expresses concern that apparently nobody thought there was anything wrong with the involvement of 'Boo Boo' Hobbs, as it calls the minister, in the fundraiser.

Ms Hobbs' staff later told the embassy she would attend the event, but not host it.

The cable goes on to say a potential fiasco was probably avoided because of the embassy's top-level phone calls.

Labour MP Grant Robertson, who organised the screening, says it was a harmless screening of an interesting movie and he has no recollection of the US Embassy having any involvement.