Jason Ede, the former senior communications adviser to John Key, was yesterday photographed for the first time since going to ground two and a half months ago amid allegations he ran a political dirty tricks campaign from the Prime Minister's office.
Mr Ede has evaded media since journalist Nicky Hager fingered him as attack blogger Cameron Slater's contact in Mr Key's office in his book Dirty Politics, published in mid August.
The Herald saw him as he returned to his Lower Hutt home late yesterday afternoon but he was unwilling to speak.
Earlier yesterday, Mr Key faced questions in Parliament from Greens co-leader Russel Norman over Mr Ede's involvement in accessing membership data from the Labour Party's website in co-operation with Slater in 2011.
AdvertisementAdvertise with NZME.
Mr Ede was employed in Mr Key's office at the time of the incident but his involvement in the incident was not known until Hager's book was published.
Labour has made a complaint to the police over the incident, alleging Mr Ede's accessing of the database was unauthorised and therefore illegal.
Mr Key yesterday said his chief of staff, Wayne Eagleson, had not given approval for Mr Ede to access the website, "but I would point out to the House that Jason Ede accessed parts of the Labour Party website that were publicly available".
He was satisfied that in spite of the allegations against Mr Ede, his office had upheld the highest ethical standards.
Labour met police last week over its complaint and was to supply information to help their investigation.