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Douglas praises John Banks, poll mixed

Sunday 23 Sep 2012 11:25 a.m.

ACT Party leader John Banks  (file)

ACT Party leader John Banks (file)

ACT Party founder Sir Roger Douglas is dismissing a donations scandal surrounding party leader John Banks as a media beat-up and says Mr Banks "has done well" as an MP.

Mr Banks, who holds ministerial portfolios, has been in strife for months over donations to his 2010 Auckland mayoral campaign.

Sir Roger's comments on Q+A today come after a poll commissioned by the programme showed only 57 percent support for dumping Mr Banks from cabinet.

When asked if they thought Mr Banks should be sacked, 31 percent said no and 12 percent were unsure.

"When you look at the media beat-up that we've had over the last two weeks I'm surprised John has done as well as he has," Sir Roger said.

Sworn statements from Kim Dotcom and his staff showed Mr Banks knew he had received two $25,000 cheques from the internet tycoon before he told media he had no knowledge of them.

Sir Roger said "there is another side", and "you just can't take Dotcom's words as if they are gospel as the media have".

He said when running any political campaign, donors were told what the rules were and candidates should not receive the money.

"The candidate never absolutely knows whether the money came in or not," Sir Roger said.

Sir Roger said Mr Banks had done well as an MP.

He said Mr Bank had been more consistent to the party's principles "than we've had at any time".

Prime Minister John Key has said Mr Banks is an honest man.

"I accept him at his word, no charges have been laid and he's not going to be found guilty of anything," Mr Key said last week.

NZN

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