9 Jun 2009

Key steers clear of call timing debate

6:08 pm on 9 June 2009

Prime Minister John Key's office says it will not be drawn into an argument about the timing of a phone call from Labour leader Phil Goff.

Mr Goff released phone records on Tuesday to prove the exact time he called Mr Key in May to raise concerns about the behaviour of former minister Richard Worth.

He issued the records to back his personal notes about the timing of the phone call.

On Monday, Mr Key questioned Mr Goff's recollection of a call on 6 May, during which Mr Goff raised questions about the behaviour of Dr Worth.

Mr Key said he was on a plane until 10pm. But records supplied by Parliamentary Service show Mr Goff made an 8.5-minute call to Mr Key's cellphone at 9.49pm.

Mr Goff says the phone records put an end to any argument about the timing of the call and also cast doubt on the accuracy of Mr Key's recollection of the call.

He says Mr Key should accept that his memory of the phone call is wrong. He further says it is sloppy for Mr Key to make an adamant assertion about the time of the call without checking his facts first.

Meanwhile, police have yet to interview Dr Worth as they investigate allegations of a sexual nature against him.

Dr Worth resigned as a minister last week, but remains in Parliament.

Police say Dr Worth has assured them via his lawyer that he will co-operate with the investigation.

Detective Inspector Paul Basham says a good deal of work remains to be completed before seeking an interview and police cannot therefore say when an interview will take place.

Dr Worth denied the allegations.