Inappropriate is an often overused word but it is the appropriate one to apply to the most generous interpretation of the story which has resulted in Darren Hughes standing down from his positions of Labour Party whip and education spokesman.
Rob Hosking writes in the NBR:
The 32-year-old Otaki MP may not have broken any laws. But the picture his behaviour paints is hardly that of a diligent and seriously hard working MP.
No charges have been laid, it is possible none will be and that the generous interpretation is the correct one.
But even if that turns out to be the case, the story has already damaged Hughes’ reputation and calls into question his judgement.
It is also adding to speculation on whether or not Phil Goff will lose the Labour leadership before the election.
Hughes did the right thing by admitting he was the MP whose behaviour was being investigated which removed suspicion from his colleagues. But even so the personal damage from what appears to be at best inappropriate behaviour could result in equally serious political damage to his leader and party.