13 Sep 2019

Helen Clark backs Jacinda Ardern over handling of sex assault allegations

3:51 pm on 13 September 2019

Former Prime Minister and Labour leader Helen Clark is backing Jacinda Ardern in her handling of the controversy over sexual assault allegations, saying the party has let her down.

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Helen Clark said she could appreciate the position the Prime Minister was in. Photo: RNZ / Claire Eastham-Farrelly

Ms Ardern's been under fire for how party officials and senior politicians have responded to allegations against a former staffer, ranging from bullying to serious sexual allegations.

The staffer has quit his position in the leader's office, and maintains his innocence.

Earlier in the week the party president Nigel Haworth resigned after Ms Ardern decided the party had bungled the investigation it carried out.

Ms Clark said she could appreciate the position the Prime Minister was in.

"I'm a very strong supporter of Jacinda Ardern, I have sat in her seat, I know what it's like when people let you down, she will deal with it and move on."

When asked why she made that assertion Ms Clark said she knew Ms Ardern had been let down - "end of story".

She had no further comment to make, including whether Labour should have learned the lesson first time around, after the youth camp controversy.

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