Horan called TAB on Parliament line
Embattled MP Brendan Horan
Embattled MP Brendan Horan used his parliamentary phone line to call a TAB betting number 12 times within four hours, according to a report.
Mr Horan was expelled from the New Zealand First party yesterday by leader Winston Peters, who said he had received information that "leaves me in a position where I have no confidence in Mr Horan's ability to continue as a member of Parliament".
The information is understood to be related to a family dispute between Mr Horan and his siblings, with his brother, Mana Ormsby, alleging money was misappropriated from their late mother's bank account.
Fairfax Media reports that it has seen Mr Horan's parliamentary phone records, which show Mr Horan repeatedly called a TAB betting line on one day, and on other occasions.
Mr Horan did not deny calling the TAB, but believed he was entitled to call who he wanted, refuting New Zealand First's allegation that he broke Parliament's rules by misusing resources.
"Look up the rules; people can use their phones for anything. There is fringe benefit and people can use their phones for a certain amount of private business. Whatever I use my phone for is my private business," he said.
New Zealand First reportedly tried to seize Mr Horan's laptop after he asked an assistant to wipe his data from it.
Mr Horan told Fairfax Media he has been granted two days' leave from Parliament after a meeting with Speaker Lockwood Smith this morning.
Earlier today, Mr Horan said he planned to stay on as an independent MP, and did not plan to challenge his expulsion "at this stage".
"If the leader of the party doesn't want you then I'm not one to try to go begging back, but my core values haven't changed and my beliefs haven't changed."
The family dispute centres on claims thousands of dollars were misappropriated from Olwen Horan's bank account before she died.
Ms Horan died at 87 with less than $3000 in her account, which had dropped from $259,000 in February 2007.
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.