David Seymour holds Ardern’s feet to the fire

ACT Leader David Seymour has called for Jacinda Ardern to “come clean on the murky details of the lobbyist who once worked as her chief of staff”

“Jacinda Ardern told ACT in answers to written parliamentary questions that GJ Thompson took a leave of absence from his roles as a director and shareholder of lobbying firm Thompson Lewis while he was employed as her acting chief of staff between October 2017 and February 2018.

“However, Companies Office records show Mr Thompson remained a director and shareholder throughout this period.

“The Prime Minister needs to immediately set the record straight.

This story could grow legs. There are so many questions and so much potential for misuse of the position with no safeguards.

An Oiler I know who is a company director himself told me that he is sceptical of this whole “leave of absence” claim. As a director, he said you either fulfil your obligations to the role or you resign from it. There’s certainly no Leave of Absence clause in his papers.

“The Prime Minister has also confirmed to ACT that, while he was her acting chief of staff, Mr Thompson received all Cabinet papers and was briefed on all legislation. Yet, her office appears to have put in place no processes to ensure that he didn’t access material that could benefit his clients.

“As far as we can tell, Mr Thompson retained a duty to act in the best interests of his lobbying firm as a director and retained an ownership interest as a shareholder.

“There was clearly huge potential for a conflict between his personal interests as a lobbyist and his duties as the Prime Minister’s chief of staff.

ACT leader David Seymour

David Seymour is trying very hard here and the National party should be helping him. Perhaps National is not interested in pursuing this story because of the Wayne Eagleson connection. Eagleson works for the same company as GJ Thompson, and Eagleson is rumoured to be currently doing work for National leader Simon Bridges.

Will the real leader of the opposition please stand up?