Slater pushes back against Hager

Cameron Slater has dismissed Dirty Politics allegations relating to himself and Justice Minister Judith Collins, while Labour leader Phil Goff compared the scandal to Watergate.

In an interview this morning with The Nation’s Lisa Owen, Slater ripped into the book, saying author Nicky Hager “didn’t even have the common journalistic courtesy to contact a single person contained within these emails, while he breached everybody’s privacy”.

“I never released any credit card details, unlike Mr Harger I redacted people’s personal information. I respected people’s privacy.”

The book claims to reveal widespread collusion between senior National Party figures and controversial blogger Slater (of Whale Oil) as part of a co-ordinated campaign of attack politics.

Hager painted Collins as a source of sensitive information for Slater.

Responding to the allegation the prime minister’s office used secret SIS documents to tip off Slater to attack the Labour leader in the 2011 election campaign, Slater said that was old news.

He said the Labour Party laid a complaint with the Privacy Commission and the police at the time, and nothing came of it.

“The fact remains that Mr Hager has used illegally obtained data, illegally obtained details, and has then gone out and sold a book.

“Mr Hager is making substantial amount of money from the proceeds of a crime.”

Regarding the book’s reference to Collins as his main source for political attacks, the blogger said he and Collins were friends and spoke “regularly”.

He said it was fair to call her a friend. “She supported me after my mother died, she’s been with me through thick and thin.”

Collins yesterday admitted giving Slater the identity of Internal Affairs official Simon Pleasants, who she thought was responsible for leaking information to the Labour Party about Finance Minister Bill English’s taxpayer-funded accommodation allowance in 2009.

Whale Oil identified Pleasants in a series of disparaging blog posts, which lead to abuse including death threats directed at him and his family.

Slater today said he now moderated comments on his site more carefully.

Pleasants has denied leaking anything.