16 Aug 2011

PM called chicken for avoiding questions in House

7:23 pm on 16 August 2011

Prime Minister John Key was called a chicken in Parliament after he walked out to avoid answering questions from the Opposition leader about youth unemployment on Tuesday.

Labour Party leader Phil Goff had to make do with putting his questions to the Social Development Minister Paula Bennett, who answered on behalf of Mr Key.

Mr Goff had hoped to ask the Prime Minister about the trend in youth unemployment but the question was transferred to Ms Bennett.

So Mr Goff left the Debating Chamber and let his deputy Annette King ask the question on his behalf.

He then swapped with Ms King who had a later question to Mr Key about children at risk.

To avoid Mr Goff asking him that question Mr Key then left Parliament, prompting senior Labour MP Trevor Mallard to call him a chicken.

That comment got Mr Mallard kicked out of the House.

Mr Goff then had to put his questions, which focused mainly on youth unemployment, to Ms Bennett.