24 Sep 2010

New ACT Party member supports leader

11:12 pm on 24 September 2010

The newest member of the ACT Party says she fully supports Rodney Hide as leader of the party.

Hilary Calvert was welcomed by the party's Caucus on Friday, following the resignation of disgraced former MP David Garrett.

Mr Garrett quit Parliament at midnight on Thursday, after disclosing in Parliament that he used a dead child's identity to obtain a false passport in 1984.

Ms Calvert is a Dunedin-based lawyer and the director of about 20 companies. She says she is sure there will not be any conflicts of interest between between her role as a director and her future role as an MP.

At a news conference, Ms Calvert was quick to proclaim her full backing for Mr Hide.

She says she is sure there are no skeletons in her closet, though she did face questioning over a brothel that is housed in one of her investment properties.

Mr Hide says the Caucus will reconsider all the MPs' portfolios once Ms Calvert is settled in.

Ms Calvert will be sworn in as an MP when Parliament resumes on 12 October.

ACT in terminal decline, says Labour

Labour says the ACT Party is in a terminal decline and National will be tarnished by association.

Leader Phil Goff says Mr Hide covered up for Mr Garrett and does not meet the ethical standards required to be a minister.

He says the public wants Mr Hide to go as a minister and it is astounding that Prime Minister John Key has said the ACT leader has high ethical standards.

Mr Hide says he does not believe there are any more skeletons in either his, or his party's, closet.

He told Morning Report he does not know who leaked the information about Mr Garrett, but is not worried about further leaks.