Well, that's David Cunliffe sunk:
Labour Party leader David Cunliffe - who said this week he had never met Donghua Liu or advocated on his behalf - wrote a letter to immigration officials on behalf of the controversial businessman who was applying for residency in New Zealand.
The 2003 letter was written in his capacity as the MP for New Lynn after he was "approached my constituent Donghua Lui [sic] who is concerned at the time it is taking to process his Investment Category application".
Mr Cunliffe this week denied any involvement with Liu's residency bid after the Herald revealed the property developer paid $15,000 at a Labour Party fundraiser for a book signed by Helen Clark in 2007.
The actual letter itself - written in 2003, before Liu donated to Labour, and in his role as a constituency MP - is pretty innocent. It asks for nothing more than a timeframe on a decision, and is clearly an attempt to help a constituent. Its the subsequent strong denial of having had any dealings with Liu that's the problem. At the least, it shows a complete failure of political management (with Liu in the news, and the media alleging Labour Party leaks, a competent leader would have checked his files, and front-footed it if they'd found anything). But it is likely to be interpreted as deliberate dishonesty, a poor attempt at a cover up. And that's what kills him.
If our second largest party wasn't consistently led by muppets, they might have a chance of winning an election. Instead, their muppetry looks likely to condemn us to another three years of National. Thanks, Labour!