The Herald reports:
Hostilities between independent MP Brendan Horan and his former NZ First colleagues have taken up yet more of Parliament’s time as Mr Horan made allegations of bullying behaviour under protection of Parliamentary privilege this afternoon.
Mr Horan today welcomed news Speaker David Carter was following up his allegations of misuse of Parliamentary funds by NZ First, but continued his attack during Parliament’s Question Time with a series of questions directed to Labour Minister Simon Bridges about bullying which appeared to thinly veiled references to MPs from his former party.
He asked Mr Bridges whether anti-bullying guidelines for the workplace would “provide protections to ensure that a member of Parliament or Party Leader cannot bully or intimidate a Parliamentary Service employee into conducting unlawful activities, for example accessing the emails of another member without that member’s permission?”.
With NZ First Leader Winston Peters still in Auckland this afternoon, it was up to his MP Richard Prosser to run interference on Mr Horan.
However his attempts to have Mr Horan’s questions ruled out of order were knocked back by Mr Carter.
While Mr Bridges said it was difficult to answer abstract questions, “I suspect that the matter the member refers to, if it was made out, is one for Parliamentary Services”.
Mr Horan followed up by asking whether the anti-bullying guidelines “mean that an employee who made a complaint to her employee who made a complaint to her employer about abusive emails and text messages from her boss should be able to respond to that person’s public denials without fear of legal action? If not why not?”.
It will be interesting to see what further information emerges.