Sat. Jun 22nd, 2024
winston peter

The Labour Party is calling for Winston Peters to step down as Foreign Minister following his remarks that have triggered potential legal action from former Australian MP Bob Carr, a critic of the AUKUS security partnership.

During an interview on RNZ’s Morning Report, Peters criticized Carr’s stance on AUKUS, prompting Carr to consider the comments “entirely defamatory” and announce plans for legal action. RNZ has since removed the contentious remarks from the interview.

A spokesperson for Peters stated that he would respond if formal legal action was taken, while the Prime Minister’s office has yet to comment on the matter.

Labour leader Chris Hipkins denounced Peters’ allegations as “totally unacceptable” and asserted that they exceeded the scope of his role as Foreign Minister. He emphasized that Peters’ actions have brought embarrassment to the country and posed a legal risk to the government, urging Prime Minister Christopher Luxon to take decisive action and suspend Peters from his ministerial duties immediately.

Peters had discussed New Zealand’s stance on AUKUS during a recent foreign policy speech in Wellington, which Hipkins acknowledged with cautious approval, contrasting it with Peters’ earlier remarks advocating for a swift embrace of AUKUS.

Meanwhile, former Labour Prime Minister Helen Clark, who participated in a panel discussion on AUKUS alongside Carr in New Zealand, also condemned Peters’ comments, describing them as defamatory and expressing solidarity with Carr’s stance. TIN Bureau

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