Tizard dismisses 'return to Parliament' as April Fool's joke

By Derek Cheng

Judith Tizard. Photo / The Aucklander
Judith Tizard. Photo / The Aucklander

Former Labour minister Judith Tizard is dismissing a press statement purportedly from her announcing her return to Parliament to replace former MP Darren Hughes as a bad April Fools' Day joke.

The website scoop.co.nz published a statement today, purportedly from Ms Tizard, saying she "will today advise the Labour Party of her decision to enter parliament".

It included a number of quotes, including: "I would like to formally announce that I have decided to re-enter parliament on the Labour Party List, and fill the gap left by today's official resignation by Darren Hughes.

"I would like to wish Darren all the best for the future, and sincerely hope that the media stops playing the part of judge jury and executioner.

"I look forward to serving out the remainder of the parliamentary term with my Labour colleagues."

But when contacted, Ms Tizard said she had yet to make a decision.

When read the press release, she laughed aloud.

"That is truly bizarre. I have put out no statement. I have not made up my mind.

"I think I better phone scoop and ask them where the hell it came from. I assume all of this is an April Fools' joke."

She said she was likely to announce a decision on Sunday.

Ms Tizard is next on the party list and is the first cab off the rank to replace Mr Hughes, who handed in his formal resignation from Parliament today, effective April 5.

Mr Hughes said he would resign last week and is the subject of a police investigation into a sexual offence complaint made by an 18-year-old student.

Scoop has since removed the statement, saying it came from a bogus email address.

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