7 Aug 2008

Labour wants apology over secret recordings

6:09 am on 7 August 2008

The Labour Party is demanding an apology from the National Party over accusations it's running a dirty tricks campaign.

Remarks by three senior MPs were secretly recorded during a cocktail party last Friday night.

The third tape involves MP Nick Smith talking about National's election strategy. Other recordings were of Bill English discussing KiwiBank and Lockwood Smith saying the party wants to do things which aren't policy right now.

National has requested security footage of the event.

It's says that rubbish at leader John Key's Helensville electorate office appears to have been ransacked for the second time in a month.

Deputy Prime Minister Michael Cullen says National has no real basis for what he calls its "wild claim", which he describes as a diversion tactic.

Dr Cullen says photographs distributed by National of Mr Key's rubbish look like a dog has gone through it looking for leftovers.

A National spokesperson says it's clear Labour is behind the tapes because they've been recorded by National's opponents.

Mr Key said on Wednesday the recordings were not made by genuine delegates. He told Morning Report it has become clear Labour's tactics include bugging conferences and personal conversations, rorting the electoral law and condoning the stealing of emails.

Prime Minister Helen Clark says Mr Key's paranoia is getting the better of him.