Mallard halts inquiry as leaker cries wolf to avoid capture

It seems that all one needs to do today to avoid any consequences for political chicanery is to text a few people claiming that being held to account for one’s actions may lead to self-harm and the blouses in parliament all cut and run.

Trevor Mallard has called off an inquiry, presumably because he knows who the leaker is and the phantom texter and has declared it is a problem for Simon bridges to deal with: Quote:

RNZ has?revealed?a person claiming to be a National MP sent a text message to Simon Bridges claiming responsibility for the leak and saying they had suffered from mental health problems in the past and being exposed publicly could push them over the edge.

In a media conference this morning Mr Bridges confirmed he had received a “dark and concerning” message on Thursday last week along with Parliament’s speaker Trevor Mallard and a media organisation.

Mr Bridges said he was concerned about the welfare of the leaker, but also stressed the inquiry needed to continue.

He said he contacted the police and?they confirmed they knew who the leaker was but wouldn’t identify them, Mr Bridges said he could not be sure whether the leaker was a National MP or not.?End quote.

Was the leaker concerned about the fall out of their leak? Nope. Too bad, out them.?Quote:

However, Mr Mallard this afternoon called off the inquiry that was to have been undertaken by Michael Heron QC.

“The existence of, and part of the detail of, a text both the Leader of the Opposition and I received last week has been reported on. It has now been confirmed to me that the person who leaked the details of the expenses and the texter are the same person. He or she has details of events that it is unlikely anyone outside the National Party would be privy to,” Mr Mallard said.

“The text is from someone who is clearly very disturbed and today’s publicity will almost certainly make that worse. My priority is to get appropriate support to them whether they are an MP or a staff member.”

Mr Mallard said Mr Bridges wanted the inquiry to continue.

“I have indicated to him that the Parliamentary Service will cooperate if he decides that he wants to proceed with an investigation and appropriate consents from MPs are in place. The general manager will make any relevant staff emails available.”?End quote.

How can Trevor Mallard even make that claim? I believe it is a ruse to avoid being caught. This person or persons have played a very dangerous high stakes game and they or their supporters think they were about to be revealed. Well, too bad, this is politics not tiddly-winks. They need to be outed along with their cohorts. If Mallard knows he should say.?Quote:

The National Party said in deciding to halt an inquiry into the leak of the leader’s travel expenses, the Speaker of the House had “cast a pall” over the whole caucus.

Trevor Mallard has pulled the pin on the investigation he initially ordered, saying it was now a matter for National to deal with as it was likely the person responsible was from that party.

National leader Simon Bridges had pushed for the inquiry, saying it was important to ensure the integrity of Parliament.

Shadow leader of the House Gerry Brownlee said in a statement it was still important to find out who was responsible, and they would endeavour to find out.

“We stand by the steps we have taken and we reject the speaker’s assertion the leak could only have come from the National Party.

“While that is possible, that is not his decision to make nor can he categorically make it based on the evidence,” he said.

Mr Brownlee said the speaker had no new information than when he announced the appointment of a QC to lead the inquiry yesterday.

“It is not the role of the speaker to decide who is guilty nor arbitrarily decide that the inquiry cannot proceed based on what he believes will be the impact on the person behind the leak. He has cast a pall over every member of the National Party.

“That is not natural justice nor is it consistent with the role of the speaker to protect the interests of Members of Parliament. The speaker is supposed to be Parliament’s man but in this case he has not acted like it.”

Mr Brownlee said to “settle the matter, to ensure this person’s well-being and to protect the integrity of the role of the opposition” National needed to know who was behind the leak and they would “endeavour to find out”. End quote.

Simon Bridges needs to read the riot act. If I were him I’d be checking cellphones in the same way John Key used to. If he doesn’t crack some skulls then he is only stiffening the resolve of the leakers who have a clear political objective to undermine his leadership. If he fails to do so then he is sealing his own fate.

Simon Bridges only has himself to blame for his predicament because he came out guns blazing, believing himself that it was Trevor Mallard who leaked the information and doubled down on it declaring that no National MP had leaked. Mallard quickly announced an inquiry and it has gone backwards from there for Bridges.

Now it appears there are at least two leakers and he has a traitor in his caucus. He needs to act or it will be curtains for his leadership.