28 Sep 2016

Craig's lawyer urges jury to consider 'nasty allegations'

2:45 pm on 28 September 2016

Colin Craig's lawyer has urged a jury to consider just how nasty the allegations made by Jordan Williams about the former Conservative Party leader were.

Jordan Williams (left) and Colin Craig

Jordan Williams (left) and Colin Craig Photo: Supplied

Read about the Colin Craig defamation case in a nutshell here.

Taxpayers' Union founder Jordan Williams is suing Mr Craig for defamation over comments he made last year in a leaflet and at a news conference.

The jury in the High Court in Auckland is hearing closing addresses from lawyers today.

Mr Craig's lawyer, Stephen Mills, said Mr Williams' allegations about the nature of Mr Craig's relationship with press secretary Rachel MacGregor were not correct.

He was wrong about Mr Craig sending a sex text and wrong about an incident on election night in 2011 being non-consensual. "What was said about Mr Craig on more than one occasion pressuring Ms McGregor to stay the night is not correct."

The lawyer said Mr Williams had described Mr Craig in a number of ways throughout the trial.

"He said that he was a hypocrite, that he was a liar, and not just an ordinary liar but somebody lying through their teeth. He said that Mr Craig was a fundamentally flawed person, that he was unethical and then, for good measure, he was a prick."

Mr Mills said Mr Williams wanted Mr Craig removed as the leader of the Conservative Party, and that was why he spread rumours and stories about him.

He said Mr Craig was entitled to respond to the attack, which had shredded his reputation and his political aspirations.

Mr Williams' lawyer, Peter McKnight, told the jury his client was not to blame for Mr Craig's resignation as the leader of the party in June last year.

He said Mr Craig was the author of his own misfortune and it did him little credit to blame Mr Williams for it.

Who's who?

  • Jordan Williams - The plaintiff in the case and executive director of the Taxpayers' Union. He has accused Colin Craig of defaming him in a leaflet that was sent to 1.6 million households around the country in July 2015.
  • Colin Craig - The defendant and former leader of the Conservative Party. He stepped down as leader in mid-2015 amid renewed speculation about his relationship with his former staffer, Rachel MacGregor.
  • Rachel MacGregor - The woman at the centre of the allegations and Mr Craig's former press secretary. She alleges she was sexually harassed by Mr Craig over a long period of time. She quit her job two days before the 2014 election over a pay dispute.
  • Peter McKnight - Mr Williams' lawyer.
  • Stephen Mills - Mr Craig's lawyer. A defamation expert.
  • Justice Katz - The High Court judge presiding over the trial.
  • John Stringer - Former Conservative Party board member. Gave evidence that there was no smear campaign against Mr Craig. Also said Mr Craig had told board members there was nothing going on with Ms MacGregor.
  • Christine Rankin - Former Conservative Party chief executive and candidate for Epsom in the 2014 election. Told the court she had thought Mr Craig was a moral man who could bring integrity into New Zealand politics.
  • Megan Williams - Mr Williams' mother. Gave tearful evidence defending her son's reputation.
  • Helen Craig - Mr Craig's wife. Gave evidence supporting her husband.
  • Brian Dobbs - former Conservative Party chair

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