- Date published:
11:02 am, July 22nd, 2020 - 110 comments
Categories: accountability, Deep stuff, election 2020, iain lees galloway, labour, Media, Politics - Tags: Iain Lees-Galloway, labour, resignation
It appears that the Immigration Minister Iain Lees Galloway has resigned.
This follows Judith Collins’ indiscreet leaking to the media this morning of a claim that a Labour Party Minister had been accused of inappropriate behaviour.
More as it comes …
UPDATE: Jacinda Ardern confirms that she has sacked Iain Lees Galloway. He was involved in a consensual relationship with a former staffer. He will not stand at the next election.
UPDATE: Statement from Iain Lees Galloway:
“I accept the Prime Minister’s decision and apologise absolutely. I have acted completely inappropriately in my position and can not continue as a Minister.
I have apologised to my family for letting them down. Please appreciate their privacy. I also apologise to anyone who has been hurt by my actions.”
not resigned – sacked.
No Jacinda sacked him as a Minister however as reported by Stuff "Ardern left it up to Lees-Galloway to decide whether or not to run again in the September 19 election"
What is wrong with consensual sex?
With someone who worked under him in a Govt agency, who is not his wife? Yeah, that's not good.
Not good -but having an affair with someone you work with is not unheard of and certainly not a sacking office.
Can I introduce you to the late great David Lange?
As Minister of Workplace Relations (or something like that) makes it worse.
Power imbalance etc.
Gsays, If Galloway hadn't held that particular portfolio of "Workplace Relations" he would not have been sacked, Ardern stressed that because of the resposibiliries to that portfolio his position was untenable, it's not condoning his behaviour, its about the employer hierarchy
Had he been minister for Transport for instance, he would have been able to keep his job as it wouldn't have reflected on that position, not taking anything away from the fact that the Behavior was unbecoming of an elected official, but unfortunately, becoming more common
Didn't [Deleted. No gossip, thanks. TRP] have an extra marital relationship, no one asked him to step down, at least no one in Parliament
“the arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice.” MLK
Some things that could be gotten away with decades ago can't be gotten away with now. And that's a good thing.
In my opinion an affair is not a sackable offence. I fear that Jacinda has been backed into this decision by the right wing allegations that she is weak.
Collins dirty strategy has worked perfectly. She has a scalp which is not deserved.
[Deleted. There’s no evidence supporting your claim, at this point. TRP]
That's just your assumption, there's no evidence of that.
My understanding from the PM was that the person was a former staffer who had moved on to one of the departments ILG was responsible for before the affair started?
It's still inappropriate and the PM has said it involved inappropriate judgement calls subsequently, but if my understanding is correct that's not as obviously bad as what you’ve suggested. 😐
(Self-edited along with TRP’s mod decision to avoid repeating the allegation)
If Ardern hadn't acted she'd be seen as condoning a widespread but seldom talked culture with parliament.
I'm surprised he summoned the energy.
But what if a person still has severe mental consequences because of how matters were treated decades ago?
There is no where to go. A psychologist can give an explanation but they are not able to do the legal stuff.
ACC do not have a process for this, even though there is cover for mental injury. But if you need cover for at least 3-4 separate issues cover is then limited.
Having to choose which issue you want covered is not validating the other issues which would have caused the same impact per issue..
And some of the US style prurient poking into the private lives of consenting adults, is NOT a good thing. It is sinking to a new low.
Seems to me the important line being correctly drawn here is the existence of the employment relationship mingled with the personal aspects.
We don't really know that yet?
Also I find the idea somewhat questionable that women automatically fall over for someone with greater power. Do women really have that little agency?
Coercion by threatening their job, comfort or position sure. Instant dismissal should follow. But. If they simply liked each other?
BTW I don't approve of cheating on your spouse. But. What degree of sainthood do we expect of representatives. We tolerate deliberately keeping 300 000 children in poverty to keep wages low. Which to me is infinitely worse. Politicians which allow that, in my book shouldn’t be in power.
1) It's completely untenable for the Minister of Workplace Relations to leave themselves open to allegations of an improper relationship with someone he's responsible for and is a sacking offense given that it shows he does not believe in the policies he is required to implement on others. It's probably a demotion-to-backbencher-level offense for any other minister too, IMO, so long as there is an inappropriate power relationship or corrupt use of their ministerial powers.
2) IMO if he has an affair but wasn't a "family values" campaigner or anything similar, it's none of our fucking business by default, but if it involves misconduct as a Minister, it comes into the public arena because of that conduct. The PM has been clear that this example involved ministerial misconduct, even if she hasn't revealed the gory details.
(examples such as misappropriating public funds to hide the affair, not declaring a potential conflict of interest due to an intimate relationship, or behaving in a manner that demonstrates they are not fit to hold their portfolios would be the sorts of things I would look for)
He’s married to a lovely person, who is going to be doing it tough this morning.
With zero knowledge of ILG's personal life (said lovely person may even be very open-minded about such things), is that kind of personal life issue that's unrelated to his job performance really grounds for sacking? Seems to me the job performance issue is that the other person involved is a former staffer.
You are correct to say you have zero knowledge of ILG's personal life. It's probably best left at that.
Any MP having an affair is showing poor judgement. The Minister responsible for NZ workplaces should know better than anyone what the boundaries are with work colleagues.
Excellent sumary TRP
Having an affair shows a complete lack of decency or respect to the spouse/ partner, and points to a failed moral compass.
If your spouse isn't good enough for you ,do the right thing and leave before you fuck someone else .
So hes no lose to labour
FDR, MLK, JFK, Bill Clinton, David Lange … even Nelson Mandela.
Some losses there.
This is NOT only about having an affair.
I bet the next minister who's eye gets caught by a bit of skirt will think twice .
I know he didn't get sacked for cheating . He got sacked for being that fucking stupid he thought hed get away with it in his position.
Hes to fucking dumb to be in politics.
That it was with a public servant? That it was an affair? These are just impressions I got from listening to the PM. After all, she doesn't need to rationalise her decision, eh? If she loses confidence in a minister, she can just replace him/her, since that is the prime minister's prerogative.
Fair comment DF, & I agree. I just can't believe this is the sex scandal the RW are creaming themselves over, this is it? They really are a hypothetical lot, journalists included.
Indeed. The RW will feel uncomfortable about this.
The rule you are looking for is, 'don't screw the crew'.
Or as a rural newspaper editor I know even more crudely put it …“You don’t get your meat where you get your bread…”
The PM got it right here, Parliamentary and office affairs are common, but in 2020 are just not on when there is a likely power imbalance between the participants. Jacinda moved quickly, and while it is galling that Mrs Collins was involved–timing a coincidence anyone?–ha, thought not, it also illustrates exactly what she is made of in case anyone had forgotten–“pay it back double”.
There appears to be imbalance of power issues, since the other participant is described as a former staffer. That's problematic, no matter how consensual it may have been or who initiated things.
It is all to do with whether the relationship involves a boss / worker relationship. Workplace romances are OK (if potentially unwise!) between colleagues, but not where one has authority over the other.
ILG wasn't sacked for an extra-marital affair. He was sacked because he had a sexual relationship with someone at work where there was a significant power imbalance due to his role as MP and Minister, and because as Minister for Workplace Relations it's a job requirement not to act in a way that is against good workplace relations.
Exactly right Weka.
Not clear yet, to me, if this consensual relationship started while the person was still a staff member of ILG’s ministerial office staff or later when they were not a staff member.
If while in office then not appropriate.
If it started after the staff member had left his office or even the agency then I am not so sure that the same easy determined stance can be held. Outside of work after the staff member had left, then they are both individuals and it is not unknown for individuals no matter how they met, to have extra marital affairs.
Of course it is unbecoming conduct but we would all be dreaming if we thought that politicians right across the house did not have extra marital afafirs from time to time. These often end in grief either for the spouse or the one who has had the affair.
Power imbalance is drawing a long bow in my view. Advisers from govt depts are usually chosen obviously for their portfolio knowledge but more importantly their ability to 'front it' with a Minister, DPMC other parliamentary colleagues.
They are not usually the shy retiring types who are easily put upon. In fact I don't think I came across anyone who would fit that moniker.
Advisers spend long hours with their Ministers, they travel with them. Minsters rely heavily on them for portfolio advice, appt advice, to make the admin go smoothly so they can do their jobs and also to make sense of material relating to the portfolio that is either coming from the agency, from other depts via Cabinet papers and ministerials (letters from the public on portfolio matters)
There are junior staff, employed by Ministerial services ie not coming from a Department these are often are young and could be put upon.
The key point is he has lost the confidence of the PM.
The staffer worked in ILG's office. Ardern will almost certainly have details that aren't in the public domain (to protect the staffer).
Yes we know that.
The point is when did this relationship start?
For people espousing power imbalance scenario then this is a crucial point. If they met in the office but nothing was started until after the adviser left the office to return to dept or private life or wherever then people are drawing a long bow to say that there was a power imbalance, pressuring etc.
If in private life ie outside the office while both are willing private individuals it is a plain old garden type extra-marital affair. Regrettable that these are.
Weka, another excellent summary.
On the bright side, the opposition can no longer use ILG as a stick to beat the Govt with.
yep. If they've been holding onto the card, it's played now.
Sex or even an affair is not the issue!
Jacinda explained very clearly, it was because of factors:
– involving someone who was professionally connected, in an agency, with his ministerial role
– the length of time- 12 months therefore goes to judgemnet
It's not a moral judgement.
Pretty simple really.
Jacinda gave a master class in communication and decisive handling – unlike Judith Collins.
When Jacinda received info, she gave it to Collins.
When Collins got info she announced it on the AM Show.
Simple really. One leader is a pro, the other leader is pure dirty dirty politic through and through and lacking the experience to handle well even for appearances sake.
[mods, can you leave this one for me, thanks – weka]
mike, as you can see, your first words ended up in the name text box. This has been an issue for other commenters too. Can you please tell me what device, operating system and browser you used to comment?
Adding to that request as intermittently I have the same problem: Macbook, iOS 10.15.5, Safari.
I have the same issue with my Galaxy TAB A
When I see this happening I delete it but then unable to get into the text box.
I thought it was me
Only post from my PC now.
sounds like it might be a general phone issue.
Weka, I constantly have the same problem and am constantly deleting the type as it was added to the user name or email address.
It used to be autofilled so you only needed to click the text box and start typing but quite often it has reverted to the end of the user name or email, as I'm aware, I tend to check the cursor is in the correct box.
what OS, device and browser are you using Just Is?
Does the cursor start in the Name field every time?
Given that it is said it was 'inappropriate' I would hazard to guess there is more to it than mere consensual sex. Possibly caught getting funky in the office? I know I would be sacked if I were caught doing that in my place of work even if consensual
In her press briefing Ardern mentioned "improperly using his office" so my guess is sex in his office
um, no – "office" also can refer to his position as minister.
Ardern emphasised the power dynamic and his role (office). Treating your job as a dating pool is improperly using that office.
'A relationship with a former staffer which ended several months ago.'
Does this mean National have sat on this and used it deliberately and specifically to detonate before the election? I suspect they didn't want to bring it out this early in their campaign but, needs must.
Mutton….no it is entirely a coincidental. How could you think such a thing?
One wonders if the Nats were going to use this much closer to the election but it became necessary to bring it out now. Jacinda had to sack him given his Workplace Relations ministerial responsibilities-not the best role model.
Even so it is hardly comparable with sending porn to 4 (probably all young) ladies….. and counting.
That's possible but not necessarily logical. The fact things ended months ago may simply have been part of the details passed on to Collins by the person who tipped her off. That said, there was something a week or so ago on slater's blog signalling a "sex scandal" within Labour being exposed shortly.
The most plausible explanation of what's happened is that regardless of when Collins "found out" (news of the situation is likely to have been floating around for a while) Collins orchestrated the whole thing. That's what you can bet your house on, and now that Ardern's acted, Collins' involvement and behaviour should now be the focus.
Wow, Chris my original thoughts were that I was pretty sure in my own mind that one Cam Slater has been at work again. It also seem fairly obvious that the AM Show's interview with Judith Collins by Duncan Garner was the equivalent of a 'patsy' at QT in Parliament.
and "sex scandal", puh-leeze…
Down come the bill boards.
As painful as this is for those involved, the matter will not fester for weeks, even though there will be some more discussion about it in the coming days in the public arena.
The rise and rise of William Wood?
After making his packed lunch, mum will have to drop him off at Parliament.
Ignoring the ageism in yr reaction..
I would take that over having been around so long that favours are 'owed' everywhere.
On the plus side – it's not salacious.
Seems ILG had a 12 month consensual extra marital affair with a staffer. Although it's something I don't agree with in a committed relationship, people do it for reasons of their own and politicians are renowned for it.
Unless of course, it was abuse of power on ILG's part, then that throws a totally different light on the issue.
However I suspect Judith Collins is playing tit for tat here, or in other words Dirty Politics once more.
Does this mean everyone at Parliament's now become fair game? I predict that the media will not be pleased with what Collins has done. There might be consequences for her she hasn't thought about.
I'm sure she has thought about it. It's from the USA Republican handbook. Doesn't matter if her own side is collateral damage, because they are already losing. The aim is to make voters say "both sides! all terrible! politics is bad!".
Example right now: TV1 news opens with headline "Another one bites the dust …" – no nuance, so Lab = Nat, ILG = Falloon or Walker, Collins' job done.
Yes, but if the media, particularly the press gallery, are riled that doesn't necessarily just mean collateral damage.
My thoughts too Chris, there's plenty of stories regarding politicians and journalists, partly why I figured it never comes out, "what goes on in parliament stays in parliament", can of worms maybe?
So! Apparently adult consensual relationship? Then no ones business but those involved.
Not at all like repeatedly sending porno to a young person you have no relationship with.
This is getting ridiculous. Similar to sacking someone for one silly comment from years ago. I wouldn't even advocate getting rid of a Nat for that.
If we restrict being an MP to saints, there will be a very small pool.
Absolutely agree KJT, & I detest adultery, but I accept it happens, BFD, except for the families involved, & esp publicly like this, it's a pretty humiliating experience even when it's not front page news.
Former Minister of Workplace Relations.
Oh the hypocrisy – it reeks.
This has been going on since time immemorial. Prime-ministers, ministers and ordinary MPs on ALL sides of the House have been guilty of adultery – some of them on multiple occasions.
No defence of ILG, but it is obvious this is a "they do it too" moment.
Entering an extra marital consensual affair with someone does not equate with sending explicit sexual images to "young women" who have not consented to receive them.
I tend to agree. I think the issue here, though, is more to do with conflict of interest, and power imbalance etc.
The problem is that the bar has been set now. So there are probably a lot of other politicians on both sides guilty of a similar offence who are feeling rather nervous right now.
Might not be many left to vote for by the time we get to the election..
Half of Parliament will be shitting themselves now if this is the standard they must live by.
There are numerous rumors going around.
Its been an unwritten rule for a long time that the media does not go there.
Jude's gonna be unpopular!
My thoughts exactly. Roll on October.
Correct that it's nowhere near as appalling as Falloon's behaviour. But it's still behaviour that I think should be unacceptable. Because of the 'staffer' part of the issue, not the adultery part of it.
Now Ardern has drawn the line that it is unacceptable. So it's going to be that much harder to excuse that kind of thing in the future. Sure, the troglodyte side of the political aisle will take a while to catch up, but they will have to, eventually.
If the affair had have been with an individual outside of parliament then there would have been no reason to sack him, even though he was cheating on his wife.
The press conference was firm and frank, given the portfolio Galloway held it was untenable to keep him on.
Ardern was explicit about not applying a moral judgment to this, people have relationships with other people
Most parliamentary affairs are with staffers. Secretaries are a good lurk.
Collins and her black ops team of Laurel and Hardy will be frantically searching for much worse stuff.
@ Chris (10.4) … Collins/Slater team stoking up the dark arts again I'm picking.
There was something on slater's blog a couple of weeks ago predicting it.
Agree. It is not even clear if a boss/staff relationship existed at the time.
Iain was sacked from his portfolios. He resigned from standing at the next Election. He was not "sacked" from his position as MP.
Extramarital sex is not a crime. But stupid in this case.
Outstanding press conference from PM just now. Recommend watching in full.
Clearly conveys reasons for dismissal, not just 'affair' but role as Minister.
Rejects moralising hypotheticals (we all know that if infidelity = sacking then Parliament has mass exodus).
Total contrast with Collins – she points to that without spelling it out, lets us draw obvious conclusion.
And when asked about ILG's work, she highlights his achievements.
We can all debate gov't policies, pros and cons, but not this: she is a classy human being.
Agreed, very PROFFESIONAL.
Roll on election, this is probably not the last revelation to hit parliament prior to the big day
What? No mental health excuse…
Well the media can get over themselves and move on rapidly unless they plan to out every MP or worker around parliament who has or has had an extra relationship. They will need to hold the door open for the crowd.
It's not smart from a personal or professional point of view.
With respect to the employment balance of power – it is a factor that can't be over looked but and I'm sure someone here can help.
Ministers don't directly employ so they cannot sack people or derail their careers as such? If there is a conflict or an incompatibility in the work relationship for any reason – to prevent ministers shafting careers for any reason – isn't the staffer reallocated?
Sent back to Dept if the adviser has lost the confidence of the Minister if the adviser came from a dept. If they came from a dept they are usually seconded to Ministerial Services and just go back. No career derailing.
If with portfolio experience but not currently a member of a dept then employed by MS on what they call an 'event based contract'…..until the next election unless Minister loses confidence or adviser has a wish to leave.
There are clauses in both types of contracts about misconduct and loss of confidence.
Ministers and advisers are usually, in my experience, quick call for help when things are not going well. Of course as in any workplace there are less than stellar happenings/reactions from both sides and this is why the post of what used to be called Senior Private Secretaries, Office Managers or Chief of Staff (when you work up the tree a bit) is so important. They usually have years of staff management and admin/office management experience.
I am aware of advisers who had a pretty torrid times with their Ministers some of whom left, like hours later while other worked through these. As I said earlier being able to stand one's ground where and when necessary is an essential part. You are not supposed to be the Dept's stooge but an honest broker with a primary responsibility to 'your' Minister
Advisers are part of the Ministerial office 'eyes and ears' for the portfolio.
The media won't be trying to out anyone, the opposite in fact. The press gallery will be pissed off with Collins for breaking the convention.
The press gallery will be pissed off with Collins for breaking the convention? Yeah right. I've grown tired of idiot media 'personalities' talking about crap attitudes and things 'the media' has done. Their colleagues and buddies who are playing the same game as they are.
One tiny angle today. On the air today I heard something said about the 'bad example' Lees-Galloway was in workplace relations.
I can imagine whatever he/they were doing was a terrible example to those in Wairoa, Waitangi, Wainuiomata and Waiheke and Wigram, Wanaka and Waikiwi.
Some famous rugby player does something dumb at 3.30a.m. in one of those places and the media tell us he's a bad role model for the all 9 and 10 years old kids in those places and all in between and past. To show that they have it front and centre advertising it long and loud.
It's surprising they haven't found copies of whatever Falloon posted to and published that.
He mentioned that he let his family down. I really feel for his family -having experienced being cheated on myself, it has a profound impact, let alone this being made public. I also think that while this was seemingly consensual, there is definitely too many examples of power imbalance relationships whereby women in particular, have been exploited and abused. I am glad that the "me too" movement is weaving into politics and is finally been taken seriously.
I've been cheated on too Lenore, unless you've experienced it it's a hard thing for others to understand how devastating it can be, it can effect you for years. Plus if kids are involved, def a sign of a very shit character, but I digress. JA handled this well, like Obi Wan "this isn't the sex scandal you were looking for".
I feel for them too.Can't be an easy life holding down the home with the partner away a lot, plus supporting the MP's job plus trying to have a career of their own if that's what they want.
Then to have all this blow up in their face and the way that it fractures not only the family relationships but also the fall out and mistrust on the great number of those wider social contacts – Sitting there thinking – "how many events did the family support and how many people did family meet that were nice to our faces but we were the only ones in the room that didn't know what was really going on …"
So we don’t have to keep repeating ourselves.
Those lobbying ACC will be pleased. He's been refusing to accept the system's broken from the time he became minister. As far as ACC goes he suffers from deaf ears syndrome.
ILG is getting a surprising amount of sympathy over on Kiwiblog who don't believe he should have been booted out. Boys will be boys basically. The employment issue is pretty much overlooked but there are some concerns that this is start of a cycle of "mutually assured destruction " which will last until the news media are collateral damage.
They may realise the gnatsies are a tad vulnerable on this.
I'm kinda disappointed IL-G's statement didn't address the key issue here – that it was the workplace and power imbalance aspects of the relationship that crossed the line. Especially combined with his portfolio of Workplace Relations.
Well if it was not a power imbalance ie was 'consummated'/started as it were while both were individuals after the adviser had left why would he have to address something that was not relevant to the issue ?
This is not clear. We do not know and we do not need to know really. He has resigned, many would not but he will have lost the PM’s confidence.
This is what Collins does (bad). This is what Duncan Garner does (worse).
"a [National Party] staff-member in contact with NewsHub asked Duncan Garner to ask Judith Collins if she'd received any info about anyone in Labour."
As they say in Australia
It didn't pass the pub test.
More to come?
I would be surprised if our PM would have sacked him just for philandering. Either way, good job done.
He should have lost the one portfolio but not the rest. I would caution MPs you deal in muck publicly expect others to do so to.
So who in the NZ Labour is going to take the NZ Labour Defence spokespersons role?
Or do I have to up sticks and return to NZ to put my hand up? But not sure if I could handle living in the Nth Is, must have to ask my uncle who lives up the road from Palmy on what the local hunting and fishing areas are like. Plus the wife wants a block with native bush for her Kiwis, Tui’s but she also wants her Kea’s and Weka’s as well.
Has it crossed anyone's minds that the "other " party here is probably devastated today to hear that a presumed private ( and historic ) arrangement has been revealed to the the whole world purely for Judith Collin's gratification.
OR maybe she is grateful as her distress was maybe dismissed previously?
You really have no more idea than the wood in your pencil or the charge in your cell phone what she thinks. I support Labour, but ffs, we do need to not be blindly loyal to all the wrongs.
Bullshit. It wasn't "the other woman "who told the odious Collins.
I would bet that you are correct.
It sure has, thanks Collins, but ultimately ifiyou you cheat or get it on with a married person, there more often than not is fall out, and you have to take responsibility for that (but cheaters notoriously aren't particularly known to). The only victim is the wife and kids, the consenting adults knew what they were doing. But I get your point, she doesn't deserve to be outted to the whole country, but then she cheated with a public figure, so you know, just dumb and unfortunate.
So from a rough count of Labour's ministerial team they are down to around 12 white males out of 45. I'd say Judith jumped at the chance of making Labour look even less appealing to one group they really really need to get back on board, especially now that NZ First is no longer a viable voting option.
This was a targeted strike by National, not a random lashing out in revenge.