The opposition and some media have done their best to shoot the messenger and turn revelations over Auckland mayor Len Brown’s affair into a right wing conspiracy.
Their case is unravelling with a public apology to National MP Mark Mitchell by Auckland City Councillor Penny Webster for embroiling him in the Len Brown scandal:
. . . “I have decided to make a public statement to set the record straight when I saw him having to defend attacks on his integrity and character by Labour MPs in the Parliamentary debating chamber last night,” Webster said.
“The comment Mark made to me should never have been used for political cheap shots or a character assassination.
”It was not made at a cocktail party or as part of idle gossip. I was in a business meeting with Mark over electoral and council matters when our conversation turned to local government elections and the mayoral campaign. Mark made a passing comment, something like ‘scuttlebutt floating around for a while about the mayor having a skeleton in his closet. If there is a skeleton I hope that his wife and children know because families are always the victims in these sort of things’.”
Webster said she laughed, and said she was sure it wasn’t correct and Mitchell agreed with her.
“It was a generic conversation between him and I, and I deeply regret using his name in a later conversation with the mayor’s chief of staff.”
“I am bitterly disappointed that this information has been used in this way to attack our local MP. I wish to apologise to Mark and his family and I will be focused on re-establishing a strong working relationship that he can have confidence and trust in.”
If there’s anything remarkable about his protracted affair becoming public it’s that it didn’t happen earlier and that there wasn’t something a lot more damning than scuttlebutt about a skeleton in his closet floating about.
The guilty party in this sordid business is Brown and trying to turn the revelations into a political conspiracy won’t exonerate him.