Last night the story about Nick Smith’s issues that caused his resignation finally broke, or did it?
Jenna Lynch at Newshub had the scoop. Newshup, particularly Tova O’Brien appears to be the go to news media organisation for internal National leaks.
The article did not refer to the terms of the draft findings of the investigation however. It may be that there is another story waiting to be completed and that the contesting of the terms of the draft report may be the hold up.
There were hints by some in the media that Trevor Mallard was the leaker. As if. Why leak it now rather than during last year’s election campaign?
Richard Harman has a much more plausible explanation. He notes (paywalled) that Judith Collins warned the National caucus early last month that media were about to break a scandal involving one of the party’s MPs. She then told Smith last Friday that the story involved him. Clearly the leaking from within Caucus is continuing and Collins sounded rattled on Morning Report this morning when asked about this.
The anonymous comments by former staffers about Smith reported by Jenna Lynch are really out there. They included these:
The caucus has claimed that it knew nothing of what was happening. Judith Collins said that she did.
It is hard to reconcile National MPs claims that they knew nothing with some of the former staffers’ comments particularly “[e]veryone from Ministerial Services, Parliamentary Services, the Prime Minister’s Office and the bullying inquiry knew about it yet Nick’s staff continued to be collateral damage”.
This is a further set back for National. When it should be trying to formulate an alternative vision for the country it is yet again engaged in putting out fires. And this again feeds into the mantra that National MPs think they are born to rule.
This story has not concluded yet.