Horan loses party membership, wants investigation
Sacked MP Brendan Horan's last link with New Zealand First has been severed.
He was expelled from caucus last week and on Monday night the party said he was no longer a member.
"Brendan Horan, by his own action in notifying the Speaker that he is regarded as an independent Member of Parliament, has in doing so relinquished his membership of the New Zealand First political party," the board said in a statement.
Mr Horan didn't have any choice about becoming an independent - that happened as soon as he was expelled from the caucus and under Parliament's rules he had to tell Speaker Lockwood Smith about his changed status.
NZ First leader Winston Peters sacked him over allegations he misappropriated money from his late mother's bank account. Mr Horan denies he has done anything wrong and has vowed to clear his name.
LEAKED PHONE RECORDS – HORAN WANTS ANSWERS
Horan wants an investigation into who leaked his phone records to the media.
He says they're confidential and people could lose their jobs if it becomes known they called him.
Mr Horan says NZ First leader Winston Peters, who on Monday expelled him from the party caucus, asked for the phone records and he gave them to him.
"Leaking my telephone calls for political gain was grossly irresponsible and reckless," he said.
"All Members of Parliament protect the confidentiality of the people they deal with."
The records detail the calls Mr Horan made from his parliament cellphone, and 12 of them were to TAB betting numbers.
"There was only one hard copy and it was given to Winston Peters," he said.
Mr Horan won't say whether he believes it was Mr Peters who leaked the phone records, but he's been to the police and Privacy Commissioner Marie Shroff about it.
The MP admitted on Monday he made 144 calls to the TAB, using his parliament phone, over 10 months.
He says he isn't a problem gambler and most of the calls were made when he was with his late mother.
"My mother loved to have a flutter and she'd say 'I like the look of that one' when we were watching TV," he said.
Olwen Horan died in August and Mr Horan's half-brother, Mana Ormsby, has alleged up to $180,000 was taken from her account.
Mr Peters expelled Mr Horan because of those allegations, but hasn't presented any proof of his case against the MP.
Mr Horan has reaffirmed his intention to stay in Parliament as an independent.
"I will hold my head high, I've got nothing to hang it down for."
He says he hopes his late mother's bank accounts will be made public later this week so he can clear his name.