7 Jun 2014

Banks to consider stepping down

12:49 pm on 7 June 2014

ACT Party leader Jamie Whyte says John Banks is taking the weekend to consider whether he will step down as an MP before he is sentenced for filing a false electoral return.

On Thursday the Epsom MP was found guilty of the charge in the High Court in Auckland, but the judge has not yet formally convicted him as his legal team seeks a discharge without conviction.

Dr Whyte said Banks will be sentenced on 1 August, and until then he is legally entitled to remain a Member of Parliament.

He also said Banks can choose to step down as an MP before sentencing, and he discussed that option with him during a meeting on Saturday.

The Government is still refusing to be drawn on what action it will take if Banks is convicted.

A spokesperson for the Leader of the House, Gerry Brownlee, told Radio New Zealand News on Saturday he will not be commenting on what process the Government would follow if Banks is convicted and loses his seat.

John Banks outside the Auckland High Court.

John Banks outside the Auckland High Court. Photo: RNZ / Kim Baker Wilson