Friday, 4 May 2007

3 May 2007 - newstalkzb - Unrest in National ranks over smacking bill

Unrest in National ranks over smacking bill

3/05/2007 14:16:14

There is disquiet among a large number of National MPs over their leader's decision to strike a deal with Helen Clark over the anti-smacking bill.

Newstalk ZB's political staff say news of John Key's late night meeting with the Prime Minister came as a complete surprise to National's caucus.

National and Tauranga MP Bob Clarkson says the anti-smacking bill is home invasion. He says the compromise reached with the Labour Party was a caucus decision.

Mr Clarkson says National has let Labour off the hook with the deal. He says he would have left Labour to be hung out to dry, as the public reacted to the controversial bill.

One senior National MP says most party representatives are going to hold their judgement on the move, after gauging media and public reaction.

Another says while National has been instrumental in brokering near political consensus on the issue, many MPs are unhappy they will end up supporting a bill which they are opposed to, as is the majority of the public.

Both agree that the decision could be a stroke of genius, or a serious setback and that only time will tell.

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