First-up, the NZ First board has kicked Horan out of the party; Stuff reports:
NZ First says list MP Brendan Horan has lost his membership of the party after informing Parliament he is now an independent MP.
In a statement after a meeting this evening, the NZ First board said Horan, by his own action in notifying the Speaker that he be regarded as an independent Member of Parliament, had relinquished his membership of the New Zealand First political party.
Horan was expelled from the caucus last week over allegations involving money from his dead mothers estate.
This seems to be a bizarre turn of events. The only reason that Horan notified the Speaker that he would be regarded as an independent MP is because Winston Peters kicked him out of the NZ First caucus! Contrary to our post yesterday suggesting that the NZF board would take a cautious approach, they have elected to pick from the Winston Peters playbook and deal to Horan without giving him an opportunity to respond to the allegation against him. Guess where the power within NZ First lies.
And secondly, Brendan Horan is fighting back; check this out:
Under-fire MP Brendan Horan has consulted police and the Privacy Commissioner about the leak of his phone records.
The bill from his taxpayer-funded mobile phone showed numerous calls to the TAB. But Mr Horan said he had not broken any rules and the calls added up to only about $20.
Mr Horan appeared to be pointing the finger at NZ First leader Winston Peters yesterday, saying the leaking of his calls "for political gain" was "grossly irresponsible and reckless".
Mr Horan originally authorised the release of the records by Parliamentary Service, after Mr Peters asked to see them.
Now Mr Horan says the leaking of telephone numbers "jeopardised the protection of innocent people" who had contacted him confidentially.
Police are not investigating but a spokeswoman confirmed Mr Horan had approached them for advice.
The privacy watchdog could not be contacted for comment.
Mr Horan said radio journalist Barry Soper had handed back a copy of the records. "I have asked Mr Peters' office to do the same and am waiting on his response."
It would seem now that the phone records are the "new evidence" that Winston Peters referred to in his statement to the House last week, received just 45 minutes before he announced Horan's expulsion. One has to wonder how many people they were then released to, and what this says about Peters' motives.
Relationship breakdowns are never easy. Brendan Horan was once seen as a star on the rise within NZ First, and describes Peters as his mentor. This relationship however is damaged beyond repair.