Mike Sabin’s resignation yesterday was accompanied by a very brief statement in a press release.
Mike Sabin announces resignation as Northland MP
Northland MP, Mike Sabin, today announced he has resigned from Parliament, effective immediately.
Mr Sabin said he had decided to resign due to personal issues that were best dealt with outside Parliament.
Mr Sabin will not be making any further comment.
Beyond that there has been widespread speculation as to why he resigned but details seem to have been suppressed.
Sabin’s online presence seems to have been quickly scrubbed. He was removed from National’s MP ‘team’ page yesterday. That’s understandable, he is no longer a National MP. His website http://www.mikesabin.co.nz is also no longer available.
With Sabin under wraps the attention is moving to John Key, what he knew about Sabin and when he knew it. There’s some awkward unanswered questions.
Prime Minister John Key is facing increasing questions about his handling of the Mike Sabin affair after the Northland MP’s resignation a month after reports he was being investigated by the police.
It is understood some within National learned Mr Sabin was dealing with issues before the election but he had already been selected as a candidate and it was too late to change.
If that’s true the timing made thinhs awkward for National, especially if they didn’t have many details. Of course Sabin could have done something but chose to carry on as if nothing was wrong.
Mr Peters said Mr Key clearly thought he could ride out any trouble but he owed the public an explanation.
Whilen it’s far from certain Key just tried to ‘ride out any trouble’ I agree that explanations are owed the public.
Mr Key said yesterday his office was told on Thursday Mr Sabin intended to resign. He said Mr Sabin was not asked to step down.
“Mr Sabin reached that conclusion himself on the back of personal and family reasons he is pursuing.
“He’s obviously made the best decision for himself and his family.”
That’s a curious statement given suggestions about what this is all about.
Mr Key would not comment on when he first learned Mr Sabin had issues to deal with, including whether it was before the election. He would not express confidence in Mr Sabin’s character but said Mr Sabin had made a substantial contribution to the caucus and was well regarded as an electorate MP.
Key probably can’t comment on the specifics of what he knew and when.
After the election, Mr Sabin was made chairman of the law and order select committee over more senior MPs – a sign he could have been on the way to the ministerial benches.
That’s a potentially more concerning issue. Why he was appointed when there could have been a pending law and order issue with Sabin. And why Key didn’t stand Sabin down from the committee.
But Key could have been in the position of damned if he did, damned if he didn’t.
The details surrounding Sabin have been heavily suppressed. It’s quite possible – many claim certain – that details are legally suppressed.
It would appear to have been untenable for Sabin to chair the Law and Order committee questioning of police scheduled for next week. That difficulty has been averted by Sabin’s resignation.
As for the rest of the questions facing Key over this, he may be on solid legal grounds for refusing to comment. It may look a bit tricky but there may be no legal alternative.