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English won't record foreign leader calls

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 8/02/2017

Bill English says he doesn't intend to record phone calls with foreign leaders, defending his decision to only take notes while speaking to US President Donald Trump.

The prime minister spoke to Mr Trump for about 15 mintues over the phone on Monday where topics including Mr Trump's controversial immigration ban were raised.

A staffer listened to the call and notes were taken, but there was no recording, Mr English told reporters afterwards.

During the first question time of the year in parliament on Wednesday Labour MP David Parker questioned why Mr English had departed from "generally accepted practice" by not recording such a "high level diplomatic conversation".

Mr English revealed he was "not exactly accustomed" to the protocols but he wouldn't expect to have recorded that or future calls.

"It certainly would not be my wish or practise to record the conversations that I had with the leaders of other countries and certainly not do so without telling them," he said.

Mr Parker also asked if Mr English would release the US transcript of the call once it is made available to the embassy in Washington, but Mr English did not respond.

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