Otago MPs unanimous in condemnation

Surrounded by senior National Party MPs, party leader Simon Bridges speaks to media after a caucus meeting at Parliament yesterday. Photo: Getty Images
Surrounded by senior National Party MPs, party leader Simon Bridges speaks to media after a caucus meeting at Parliament yesterday. Photo: Getty Images
Otago National Party MPs are saying ''good riddance'' after former MP Jami-Lee Ross was expelled from the party for ''irrational'' behaviour yesterday.

Dunedin list MP Michael Woodhouse, Waitaki MP Jacqui Dean and Clutha-Southland MP Hamish Walker said the party remained united, despite the ructions created by Mr Ross.

As Mr Ross was announcing his resignation yesterday, the party was unanimously deciding to expel him.

''There's no sides here,'' Mr Woodhouse said.

''There's 55 MPs on one side and Jami-Lee Ross on the other. That's it.

''He's resigned from the party, he's resigned from Parliament, there will be a by-election and that will be the last we hear of him - and good riddance, as far as I'm concerned.''

He described the allegations made by Mr Ross about party leader Simon Bridges being corrupt, as ''scurrilous''.

''I 100% support the leader's call for [the] police to do as much digging as they need to, to get to the bottom of that.

''They are scurrilous allegations, made without a shred of evidence, so the sooner the police investigate them and determine the veracity of them, the better.

''It is not appropriate for a member of Parliament, or any person, to make those sorts of allegations without putting out [evidence].''

Mrs Dean described Mr Ross' recent behaviour as ''very unacceptable, disloyal and dishonest''.

''I see his behaviour as irrational, and I hope that he goes home to his family and reflects on some of the things he has said, which cannot be un-said, and reflect on his own wellbeing and his future.

''I'm angry that he is a former colleague who has shown a breath-taking degree of disloyalty and untruthfulness.

''It also makes me sad for all the supporters of National who continue to work so hard, focusing on what matters to New Zealanders.''

Clutha-Southland MP Hamish Walker agreed his behaviour was irrational and said he felt for Mr Ross's family and the Botany electorate.

''It's sad to see the self-destruction of a political career.''

All three Otago MPs said they were 100% behind Simon Bridges as leader of the National Party.

john.lewis@odt.co.nz

 

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