Exclusive Brethren hired PI to follow PM’s husband

Prime Minister Helen Clark says a reclusive religious sect has hired private investigators to tail her husband Peter Davis.

Clark claims the Exclusive Brethren is helping spread false rumours that her husband is gay, and is looking for dirt on him.

But the Christian group denies any involvement.

An article published in Investigate Magazine on Monday features what it calls “The Peter Davis case” and includes images of Davis on election night embracing another man.

The Sunday Star-Times identified the man as openly gay former Labour candidate Ian Scott, and the newspaper interpreted the Investigate article as implying Davis is gay.

Clark is not happy at having to defend her husband from rumours he’s gay.

“The rumours put in the public arena are vile, baseless lies,” she says.

Clark is blaming right wingers for spreading those rumours, ranging from National MPs to conservative religious groups.

Clark says her understanding is that the Exclusive Brethren “have had a hand in it.”

And she now believes the Exclusive Brethren have hired a private investigator to tail her husband to try and get dirt on him.

She hasn’t laid a formal complaint but has alerted her police minders.

National says it is not aware if the brethren is tailing Davis.

Party leader Don Brash says he condemns such rumour-mongering and his senior colleagues have denied any involvement.

National has been struggling with its own fallout from the exposure of Brash’s alleged affair with businesswoman Diane Foreman, which were fuelled by Labour’s Trevor Mallard.

“What I think should happen to Trevor Mallard isn’t suitable for family time TV,” says Brash.

A week ago Clark wasn’t taking it too seriously. “I’ve been thinking of asking the Minister of Police for a taser gun for Trevor,” she said.

But now her family is in the gun, she seems to be taking a much tougher line.

“Trevor Mallard’s behaviour is deplorable and should not be repeated,” she says.

MPs across the political spectrum are calling on each other to pull back from the brink of what is being seen as a descent into the kind of tabloid exposure of politicians’ personal lives seen in Britain and the United States.

But there is no sign of a truce.

“It’s up to Labour, if they want to continue with their attack,” says Brash.

Clark says it is time to call off the dogs.

“I’m not prepared to stand by and see my husband defamed,”

With both sides continuing to point the finger, it is unlikely the public have has seen the last of the dirt being dished on our MPs private lives.

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Religion News Blog posted this on Monday September 18, 2006.
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