9 May 2013

PM says most people don't care about Gilmore

9:37 pm on 9 May 2013

The Prime Minister believes most New Zealanders don't care about disgraced National MP Aaron Gilmore.

The backbencher is refusing to resign from Parliament despite losing John Key's support.

Aaron Gilmore.

Aaron Gilmore. Photo: RNZ

Mr Gilmore has been under pressure after it was claimed he had threatened to have a barman at a Hanmer Springs hotel restaurant sacked after being refused more alcohol on 27 April.

The Christchurch list MP denies he made the threat, but has apologised for acting rudely and arrogantly.

Mr Key said on Thursday that he believes the public isn't interested.

"Kiwis actually probably don't care that much about Aaron Gilmore. He's had a week to give the right version of events - he's free to keep trying to do that.

"But my focus of attention is actually on running the country. I've made it quite clear my expectations - I've tried my best to work with his office and get him to give those answers correctly and succinctly."

Mr Key has handed the matter over to National Party president Peter Goodfellow after text messages by Mr Gilmore's dinner companion and Christchurch lawyer Andrew Riches were released on Wednesday which contradict the MP's version of events.

When asked on Thursday whether he would resign over the matter, Aaron Gilmore replied: "No".

The Prime Minister said the decision to resign is up to Mr Gilmore.