The winds of scandal are starting to gather pace around third-term Labour MP Darren Hughes. Hughes has confirmed that police are investigating a complaint laid against him that relates to an incident that occurred on March 2.
The incident occurred after Victoria’s O Week event The Great Debate, at which Hughes was a participant. It is understood that after the debate, Hughes and dozens of others, including Victoria University students, socialised at local bars Matterhorn and The Establishment.
The incident reportedly took place at the home of Labour MP Annette King, where Hughes stays while in Wellington. The complainant is believed to have run out of King’s house in the early morning and was spotted by a passing police car.
Labour Leader Phil Goff revealed on March 23 that he has known about the allegations against Hughes since “a couple of weeks ago”.
Goff also stated that he is supporting Hughes, making it clear that Hughes is “innocent until proven guilty” and “well regarded as a friend and colleague.” Hughes has taken leave and resigned from his positions as Education spokesman and Chief Whip.
“I am doing so because I think it is unfair that my colleagues should be subjected to speculation and suspicion.”
Hughes proclaimed his innocence, and put faith in the legal process to “lead to the right outcome.”