New Zealand

Jacinda Ardern ‘absolutely can’t stay in the job’ if she lied – Paula Bennett

Bennett said Labour had other reasons for not getting involved in the Ross saga.

“I think the reason they stood back then was because they had their own mess that they knew was going on,” she said, without elaborating. Ross’ split from National took place almost a year ago.

Bennett said she’d rather not be appearing on TV shows to discuss Labour’s problems.

“All the way through this I have felt they are actually incredibly smart, intelligent people that get to make a call on what they want to do next – and that’s not mine to make. These are very serious allegations and they should have the support to go to the police, if that’s what they wanted. 

“They wanted to keep this within the Labour Party. If they had been treated fairly, respectfully and appropriately from day one, then obviously we wouldn’t be sitting here discussing it now.”

Bennett said she first took the alleged victims’ concerns to the Speaker, believing at the time the conduct was limited to Parliament grounds. She didn’t go directly to Ardern, Robertson or the Labour Party itself. The complainants haven’t told Bennett they’ve spoken to Ardern directly.

“I believed at that point that Jacinda Ardern and the Labour Party and the council already knew what was going on – this wouldn’t be new news to them,” Bennett said, adding that the complainants had already spoken to people in Ardern’s office.

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