Kāpiti’s missing MP starts new life in London political job
A report from London says the former Kāpiti MP Darren Hughes is starting work this week in his new job which pays between $96,000 and $116,000 a year.
He’s been appointed director of campaigns and research at the Electoral Reform Society (ERS) in London.
Mr Hughes, who resigned in a scandal involving a naked young man in Haitaitai last year, will be taking the lead on a range of high-profile campaigns.
The society’s director of strategy and communications, Ashley De, says:
“Britain urgently needs new ideas and fresh perspective on how politics can work, and that is precisely what Darren offers.”
Mr Hughes was formerly a junior minister in Helen Clark’s last Labour Government.
When he resigned from Parliament in March last year, he was chief Opposition Whip – but went after it was revealed an 18-year-old man he had taken back to his house in Wellington had laid a complaint of a sexual nature with Police.
Mr Hughes always maintained his innocence, and after a three- month investigation the police decided not to lay charges.
Mr De said the Electoral Reform Society ((ERS) was campaigning in several areas including direct elections to the House of Lords and the debate over Scottish independence.
“While we’re stuck with a 19th century democracy, New Zealand has moved on,” Mr De told the NZ Herald.
“We’re confident Darren has the necessary skills and experience to help us win the argument for a new kind of politics.
“New Zealand’s loss is our gain.”
The ERS played a big role in last year’s referendum on alternative voting.
“Following the defeat we are looking long and hard at how we achieve change. Darren will play a big role as we shape our plans.”
The ERS is an independent organisation funded through investments and donations.
Mr Hughes did not return calls.