Claire Trevett is the New Zealand Herald’s deputy political editor.

Andrew Little accuses John Key of being 'out of control'

Prime Minister John Key's nickname for Labour's Andrew Little is "Angry Andy" but it was Little who got to accuse the PM of being "out of control" today.

Mr Key was kicked out of Parliament by the Speaker for the first time since becoming PM for banging on after the Speaker had told him to sit down and shut up.

Key was answering a question from Green co-leader James Shaw, who had demanded Key apologise for bringing Greenpeace and Amnesty into the debate around Panama Papers. Key had used them the day before by way of arguing that simply being named in the papers did not mean someone was evil. Key was sticking his ground, saying he was correct - the groups were named. Shaw was arguing that was only because they had been used for sham trusts without their knowledge.

Key had been warned repeatedly about adding unnecessary political jabs to his answers and the Speaker, with good reason, gleaned he was heading into one when Key started talking about something Shaw had done "on Saturday night."

Key later claimed he had not seen or heard the Speaker. The excess of enthusiasm that resulted in Key's march out was more because he was cockahoop than out of control. The reason for his delight was twofold. First was relief that nothing of great surprise had sprung out of what had been billed as a Pandora's Box of scandals, the Panama Papers. Second was that only two days in, the main line from the Greens was to be bickering over verbal semantics about his comments on Greenpeace rather than attacking the Government. Key later claimed he had even seen the Speaker calling him to order. Little and Shaw later argued Key had engineered it to distract from the issues around the Panama Papers. If so, mission accomplished. The pair spent five minutes talking about how shameful and out of control Key was, with only brief mentions of the issue they claimed Key was trying to distract them from.

As for the viewers, there was a cliffhanger ending. We never found out what Key claimed Shaw had done on Saturday night.

- NZ Herald

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