Imagine if the PM called you a pisshead?

Comedy gold – a story from

“A Christchurch lawyer says MP Aaron Gilmore threatened to have Prime Minister John Key get a young waiter fired during an incident in a hotel on Saturday night. Andrew Riches, witnessed the National MP’s outburst at the waiter at the Heritage Hanmer Springs hotel, said he felt “unfairly tarnished” by Gilmore’s conduct.

Riches said he had been happy to let the matter lie, but had been incensed by Gilmore trying to “shift responsibility” for his poor conduct with a “half-hearted apology”.

Riches confirmed Gilmore make the comment to the Heritage Hanmer Springs hotel waiter along the lines of “do you know who I am. I’m an important politician”

and then…

The apology issued from Gilmore’s office today said, “As a group of diners our behaviour was at times boisterous, and I sincerely apologise for any offence this may have caused to staff and/or patrons.

“On this occasion I believe as a group our behaviour fell short of this mark, and I should have recognised this at the time”

Prime Minister John Key this afternoon told reporters he had accepted Gilmore’s apology, and found Gilmore was clearly involved in a group that was involved in some slightly unruly behaviour, which was “disappointing”.

Riches, who left the waiter a note the following day expressing his embarrassment, said he was “happy to let Gilmore apologise”.

“[Now] I’ve got the Prime Minister calling me a pisshead.”

Key said: ”I think it’s a bit disappointing. He [Gilmore] was clearly involved in a group that was involved in some slightly unruly behaviour.

”MPs should be held to a high standard of behaviour when they are out publicly.”

”Clearly he has felt the need to apologise which is the right thing to do. He has apologised to me, I’ve accepted that apology and we’ve moved on.”

When Key was asked if the back-bencher would be reprimanded, Key replied that Gilmore had learned his lesson, was disappointed with himself and similar behaviour was unlikely to happen in future.

”My office spoke to him. I haven’t had a chance personally to speak to him. The bottom line is we have a level of expectation how our MPs should behave. I think he will take a moment to reflect on recent events and whether he met the standards of an MP. In hindsight he acknowledged he was part of a group that did not meet that standard and has apologised.”

Gilmore said yesterday he was “not aware” of making the comments after drinking a bottle and a half of wine on Saturday night, and put it down to “misunderstanding”.

 The dangers of drinking and talking…

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