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Key changes tack with media

Friday 5 Apr 2013 7:02 p.m.

The Prime Minister has lashed out at the news media, calling journalists "knuckle heads" over their coverage of his role in hiring top spy Ian Fletcher.

Mr Key told RadioLIVE he's going to change his approach in interviews and in Parliament - he'll no longer answer questions immediately, if he needs more details.

"What Iain Rennie was a couple of things, one it was a totally ethical process, two I didn't do anything wrong whatsoever, three Labour have done very similar things. That's it - that's all I've got to say about the GCSB I won't take any other questions," he said today.

The fact Mr Key went against standard practice and personally called Ian Fletcher about the job as GCSB director has prompted Labour to ask the Auditor-General to investigate

Mr Key spent nearly 20 minutes discussing the GCSB on RadioLIVE and defending his phone call to Mr Fletcher.

Key says it was a

  • "nothing phone call";
  • that it was all above board;
  • that Labour was a far worse offender when it came to shoulder-tapping;
  • and that Fletcher was the best man for the job despite not having a military background.

He's also planning to change the way he answers media questions and questions in the house to fend off accusations of "brain fade".

"The one lesson - and this is the lesson I gotta learn for the journalists as well - there will be no more answering of questions straight away if I need to get details," he told the station.

Mr Key's off to China tonight for a week but the questions will continue over there - and there will be plenty to field when he gets back as he releases what's expected to be a damning review of the GCSB.

3 News

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