Dirty politics bombshells continue

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1 NEWS

John Key's staff have been summoned to a security and intelligence hearing as the dirty politics bombshells continue.

Dirty politics looks set to put members of the Prime Minister's office in front of the spy service watchdog at a pre-election hearing
Source: 1 NEWS

While Mr Key will be out campaigning next month, some of his staff will be appearing at a watchdog hearing on September 11 to answer whether staff member Jason Ede leaked an SIS briefing to blogger Cameron Slater which was detrimental to Labour's Phil Goff in the 2011 campaign.

Mr Key says it's really important that the facts are on display and maintains his position is "rock solid".

The investigation is a direct result of 'Dirty Politics' but Mr Key is claiming credit for setting up the spy watchdog which will interrogate him.

"That was why I established the law the way I did," he said. "I'd be absolutely disappointed, shocked and horrified if a proper inquiry wasn't being undertaken."

Mr Slater has confirmed he has also been summoned, but despite overseeing the spy agencies Mr Key says he doesn't know if Mr Ede also has.

In a statement, the Prime Minisiter's Office says the Inspector-General intends to interview a number of staff in connection with her inquiry into the release of information by the NZSIS to Cameron Slater. It says there was no indication in the letter that the Prime Minister would be called personally and the Prime Minister's office is not aware that would be the case.

New emails revealed by the Sunday Star Times today appear to confirm that the boss of failed finance company Hanover, Mark Hotchin, was using right-wing bloggers to attack the head of the Serious Fraud Office during its investigation of Hanover.

Opposition parties are calling for a high level Commission of Inquiry into the wider issues of dirty politics.

"We need a full Commission of Inquiry and if it appears from that, that criminal wrongdoing may have occurred at that point no doubt the commission would want to refer matters to the police," says Labour leader David Cunliffe.

Mr Key has ruled out a Royal Commission of Inquiry, saying opposition parties are "trying to create an illusion things are actually bigger than they are".

And he will return to Wellington tomorrow to announce details of Nationals' own inquiry into Judith Collins' actions. While denying the claims, Ms Collins resigned yesterday as a Minister in Cabinet, saying she will co-operate with the inquiry.

But some in his corner say it's time to call in the police

Political pundit Matthew Hooten says if there's any suggestion that Ms Collins was briefing Mr Slater on information being given to her by the head of the Serious Fraud Office that would bean incredible scandal.

ONE News understands police are yet to receive any complaints relating to Ms Collins and her former Serious Fraud Office boss.

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