ERRANT WEST AUCKLAND MP Chris Carter last night broke his silence, saying he was returning to parliament, having taken advice from the party's former head, Helen Clark.
Last week Labour leader Phil Goff told Carter to head home to think about his future, after his refusal to front to media and apologise for using his ministerial credit card to buy flowers and massages.
Goff said Carter, MP for Te Atatu, had failed to express contrition and forced him to apologise unreservedly.
When the Sunday Star-Times asked Carter if he felt pressured into apologising, he replied: "I think that, ah, ah, we had discussions around it, of course. I think I needed time to reflect on it. When you are shoved into a corridor with a whole lot of journalists who have been waiting three-and-a-half hours to interview you... it wasn't very conducive to clear thinking."
Carter said: "We could argue the rights and wrongs of whether I've done anything wrong. The only personal items were two bunches of flowers that a staff member sent on their card, and all ministerial travel was signed off."
He said the apology was given "because you have to think about what is good for the Labour Party".
So, there it is in a nutshell. Chris Carter, arguably Parliament's biggest trougher STILL does not believe that he has done anything wrong, and he has Helen Clark's backing to prove it. So much for his "unreserved" apology last Tuesday.
Surely, Phil Goff now has no option but to demand Chris Carter's resignation. Carter has gone home to "think about his future", and his first course of action has been to contact Helen Clark, who has backed him. That presents a major dilemma to Goff, because it merely confirms what many of us have thought for some time; that Helen Clark's is still the hand which rocks Labour's cradle.
It's time Mr Carter; time for you to go!