In an interview on Morning Report today, ACT’s Heather Roy tries to defend her involvement in the Breakfast-gate scams.
She says it’s all the organisers’ fault. A typical blame the staff play. The fact is that Roy would have been asked what she wanted to speak about and she chose to do it on her portfolio. The invite would almost certainly, if they have any competence, have been seen by Roy or her office before it went out.
Even if it’s just ACT activists, well that’s still not OK. It looks like ACT has been running sham forums and ministerial speeches that are really fundraisers all over the country. It is an extremely dodgy practice and ACT needs to front up and explain.
Roy says that the Cabinet Office has cleared her and Rodney Hide of any wrong-doing. Well, it’s news to me if the Cabinet Office has that kind of oversight power. The responsibility for implementing and enforcing the Cabinet Manual is with the members of Cabinet, and ultimately the Prime Minister.
Lastly, Roy now says the ‘surplus’ (ie raised funds) from the breakfasts will be donated to charity. Funny, because yesterday Hide was claiming there is no surplus: “they’re paying for the breakfast‘.
So, now, there is a surplus? This is the problem when you’ve got multiple people trying to cover something up, the lies don’t mesh together.
It’s quite clear that both Hide and Roy are speaking as ministers to stakeholders on their ministerial portfolios at events which are, in fact, clandestine ACT fundraisers. Members of the public and those with an interest in the portfolio have been invited to hear the ministers speak but are being forced, unwittingly, to donate to ACT at the same time.