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Williamson wasn't enticed to leave: Key

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 4/09/2016

National MP Maurice Williamson wasn't offered a diplomatic post to entice him to leave parliament, Prime Minister John Key says.

It was announced last week that Mr Williamson will be New Zealand's next consul-general in Los Angeles.

The long-serving MP announced in July that he wouldn't stand for re-election next year, and there's been speculation he decided to quit after being offered the position.

Mr Key told Newshub's Paul Henry show on Monday morning it didn't happen that way.

"No. He was retiring anyway," Mr Key said.

"He was stepping down, he had run his race. I thought he could make a contribution in Los Angeles."

Mr Key denied it was a "jobs for the boys" deal.

"We're not giving him anything, he's going to work and I think he will make a solid contribution."

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