PRIME MINISTER John Key has denied he said David Beckham was as “think as bat s*it”.
Key allegedly made the comment about the English footballer to a group of Dunedin school children last week.
It attracted international media attention.
He was questioned about the comment in Parliament by NZ First Leader Winston Peters.
Key warned Peters he was making an assumption.
“Categorically I did not say that,” Fairfax NZ reported.
Key has previously refused to deny making the comment, but did cast doubt by saying it was something someone thought he had said.
Beckham’s London-based agent Simon Oliveira told New Zealand media it wasn’t worthy of a response.
The same day Key called a radio host’s shirt as a “gay red top”, a comment that was widely condemned by the likes of Hobbit star Sir Ian McKellen.
He said Key should watch his language.
McKellen, who has a strong association with New Zealand, said he was touring secondary schools in Britain to attack homophobia in the playground.
“And discouraging kids from the careless use of ‘gay’ which might make their gay friends and teachers feel less about themselves.”