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Defiant John Key defends Cameron Slater texts: 'I haven't been caught out'

Prime Minister John Key has defended his text conversation with controversial right-wing Whaleoil blogger Cameron Slater.

Mr Key was grilled this morning over the embarrassing text conversation with Mr Slater, which he initially denied yesterday, before being forced into a humiliating U-turn and admission in Parliament last night.

He said he hadn't "rung the guy and I haven't proactively text him - I haven't been caught out," a defiant Mr Key told media in Christchurch.

"I don't keep any of my text messages, I get thousands - I'm fundamentally not in contact with Slater," he said.

Mr Key said if people wanted to contact him, he was powerless to stop them.

"I can't stop people easily sending me a text; I have ignored the vast bulk of texts that he sent me."

Mr Key last night released the text exchange between himself and Mr Slater, after he initially told Parliament he had not had contact with the Whaleoil blogger over an inquiry.

In a statement last night, Mr Key changed his, "no I did not communicate with Mr Slater", to a "yes I did communicate with Mr Slater".

That follows him being asked in Parliament by Labour MP Megan Woods yesterday: "Did he have communications with Cameron Slater between the 23rd and 25th of November regarding the Chisholm inquiry or the Inspector-General's inquiry?"

Mr Key replied, "no," but last night backtracked, saying that on Monday he did have a brief exchange with Mr Slater regarding the Inspector-General's inquiry. The Prime Minister's office says the text conversation did not refer to the inquiry's contents.

He returned to Parliament yesterday, saying he misinterpreted the question, saying he thought it was referring to the Judith Collins inquiry and not the spy watchdog's report on the Dirty Politics scandal.

Parts of the full text exchange, as sent to ONE News from the Prime Minister's office late last night, can be found below:

Cameron Slater: [journalist] gave it away to me...Goff leaked SIS report

John Key: It's a joke isn't it. They will attack Jason for talking to u and they break the confidentiality agreement. Classic lab.

Cameron Slater: Yup...I'm very angry over it...Goff is the one who leaked oravida stuff too.

Cameron Slater: They still have standard bloggers on staff

Cameron Slater: And Mccarten was involved in hack

John Key: Hopefully it will all come out in time

Cameron Slater: I wish they would hurry up...they played the real dirty politics...even tried to kill me...I have evidence of.

ONE News Political Reporter Katie Bradford has the latest on the pressure mounting on the Prime Minister. Source: 1 NEWS


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