3.20PM: Darren Hughes has released a statement saying that "to be falsely accused of something I did not do, let alone a serious crime, has been one of the most challenging experiences in my life". The former Labour MP, who resigned after the scrutiny he and his party were put on as a result of the allegation, says he held strong to the belief that he had done nothing wrong and that being truthful would see his name cleared. "I have always had full confidence that our independent legal processes would lead to the right outcome and the Police's decision shows that such confidence was well-placed," he says. "Although resigning both from my portfolios and Parliament, the career to which my life was devoted, was a very high price to pay, the frenzied media attention left me with no choice. Given the important issues facing the country in the coming election, I was not prepared to allow this matter, and the intense media interest and speculation it provoked, to distract attention from the Labour Party and the promotion of our policies in this important election year." Hughes says he is enormously grateful to the huge number of people, including family, friends and colleagues from all political persuasions and "good and decent Kiwis" who have sent messages of personal support and good wishes. "That has meant a great deal to me. Of particular importance have been the messages from people who live in Horowhenua and Kapiti," he says. "At age 24 I was elected to serve my community as a Labour Member of Parliament. I loved every day of it, and tried to bring enthusiasm and commitment to every task I was given. Nothing will ever be able to take away the pride and satisfaction I feel at having been able to make a contribution to public service. "I feel that I still have much to offer and I am looking forward to the future with optimism. Whatever I do, I would like to continue to serve our community and our country. But there's plenty of time. "I now intend to take some time to consider plans for the next phase of my life and will not be making any further public comment." Hughes has never made any public statement about his sexuality. 2.40PM: Police say after a "thorough and comprehensive investigation" no charges will be laid against Darren Hughes over a complaint laid by an 18-year-old man after a night out drinking. Wellington District Field Crime Manager Detective Inspector Mike Johnson says that the evidence gathered in this investigation into allegations against the former Labour MP has been properly considered, both internally and by the Crown Solicitors Office in Wellington. "After this careful consideration, the allegations do not reach the evidential threshold required to bring charges. As a result, no charges will be brought against Mr Hughes," he says. "Some media outlets received an anonymous letter about Mr Hughes whilst Police were investigating this complaint. I can confirm those allegations contained in the letter have been investigated and there were no matters which arose that required Police attention. "It would be inappropriate for me to comment further on this matter, given the investigation has now been completed and Mr Hughes is not facing any charges. I am also mindful of respecting the privacy of the individuals concerned." As rumours swirled and the pressure was heaped upon political high-flyer, he resigned from Parliament in March, stating, "I have done nothing wrong, and I remain confident that the legal process will have the right outcome." He was replaced in Parliament by lesbian former netballer Louisa Wall. 2.30PM: Breaking news: no charges will be laid against Darren Hughes. A full story will follow.
Credit: GayNZ.com Daily News staff
First published: Wednesday, 8th June 2011 - 2:31pm
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