NZ Prime Minister John Key ejected from Parliament over Panama Papers rant

John Key, the Prime Minister of New Zealand, was ejected from the country's parliamentary debating chamber yesterday when he repeated ignored the Speaker of the House's calls to yield the floor, continuing to rant even after his microphone had been cut off.

Key was defending his policy of permitting his country's money-laundering offshore finance industry to continue unchecked, despite the Panama Papers' revelations that NZ is the go-to laundry for Latin America's corrupt elites.

Key stated that Greenpeace and Amnesty International were implicated in the Panama Papers (a fraudster had used their names to mask his own activities, without the groups' knowledge or consent), and used this as evidence that the existence of an offshore account was not an indication of nefarious activity.

The Labour and Green leadership challenged him on this, and demanded that he apologise to the NGOs. Key lost his temper and ranted furiously, despite repeated calls from the Speaker to sit down, continuing even after his mic was cut. Though this is the first time Key has been ejected from the house as a PM, he has form, having been ejected three times while serving as an opposition MP.

Key later claimed that he hadn't heard the speaker's calls to sit down and also hadn't noticed when his mic was switched off.

"It's pretty shameful when the Prime Minister gets kicked out. The one person who we do need to know keeps his cool in Parliament is the Prime Minister. He lost it. He's on the back foot on this issue, so his point of attack now is to distract, throw various dead cats on the table so you start talking about that and when that doesn't work, start demeaning people."

Mr Shaw said it was important the public saw Mr Key was held to account for his actions. "He got himself chucked out because he could not handle it. He got angry and he got himself thrown out of the Chamber."

Prime Minister John Key thrown out of debating chamber by Speaker

[NZ Herald]

(via Naked Capitalism)