By NZN Political Writer Peter Wilson with 3 News online staff
Former NZ First MP Brendan Horan has returned to Wellington this morning for a Parliamentary select committee, saying there is “a lot of work to be done.”
Party leader Winston Peters sacked him on Tuesday over allegations the MP misappropriated money from his mother's bank account before she died in August. Mr Horan continues to deny the claims.
At Wellington Airport this morning, he told 3 News political editor Patrick Gower he has no intention of resigning as a Member of Parliament, despite Mr Peters saying he had a duty to do so.
“What Winston says is up to Winston, but I’ve done nothing wrong so why should I?” he said.
Mr Horan said he believes he still has a mandate to be in Parliament.
“I’m an MP, many people did vote for me and if you have a look at the statistics you’ll see that in my Tauranga electorate I had the highest party vote as well as the highest personal vote… I’ll be continuing to represent all New Zealanders,” he said.
Yesterday, Mr Peters told Parliament he had received "substantive material" relating to the allegations and no longer had confidence in Mr Horan.
"He will be expelled from the New Zealand First caucus forthwith," he said.
"Mr Horan has a duty, I believe, to resign as a Member of Parliament."
The MP's lawyer, Paul Mabey QC, says the "bombshell" announcement came without warning.
"Mr Horan has no intention of leaving Parliament, he has no reason to do so," Mr Mabey said in a statement on Tuesday night.
"Mr Horan is the subject of unproven allegations which he completely denies - none of the allegations have ever been put to him directly, nor has he been shown any evidence to support them."
Mr Mabey says Mr Horan is confident he will be exonerated by "a proper investigation" of the allegations.
If Mr Horan stays on as an independent list MP there's no way Mr Peters can force him out.
Mr Horan is embroiled in a family dispute. His half-brother, Mana Ormsby, has alleged thousands of dollars were misappropriated from Olwen Horan's bank account before she died.
Mrs Horan won about $1 million in an Australian lottery in August 1999, and in February 2007 she had $259,000 in her account.
When she died there was just $3000 left.
Three months before her death she signed an amendment to her will because she was concerned money was missing from her account. She authorised the executor to take any legal steps necessary to recover the money.
The police are not involved.
NZN / 3 News