Friday, July 29, 2005

Edmonton Sun: Harper told of tape sting: Grewal

The Edmonton Sun:


OTTAWA -- Conservative MP Gurmant Grewal has dragged his leader into the ongoing tape scandal, suggesting Stephen Harper was advised of his covert activities.

The B.C. MP told his local Surrey newspaper he informed Harper about the secret taping, and that the boss instructed him to stop only after he raised the possibility of recording Prime Minister Paul Martin.

The article said Grewal told Harper when he began taping, and that his leader "approved ongoing efforts" but later did not want to damage the reputation of the country by involving the PM.

Grewal has been embroiled in controversy for recording his private discussions with Health Minister Ujjal Dosanjh and Tim Murphy, the PM's chief of staff, about possible rewards for crossing the floor to the Liberals. Grewal insists he had no intention of leaving his party and that it was a scheme designed to expose the Grits for offering bribes.

Harper's office insisted yesterday the leader only learned about the taping when Grewal offered to tape the PM, not before. Harper instructed him to stop immediately after he learned of what was going on, said spokesman William Stairs.

"Harper said 'No, I think that would be a very bad idea and I think we should put an end to this,' " Stairs said.

Grewal issued a statement late yesterday, clarifying that he did not seek or obtain Harper's approval for the secret taping.


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