The NZ Herald reports that National is considering a near unprecedented motion of no confidence in Speaker Margaret Wilson. This hasn’t happened in decades as it is a weapon of last resort. Parties often have grumbles about Speakers, but to actually move a motion of no confidence is almost never done.
However I believe that the Field issue is serious enough, that National should proceed with a motion of no confidence. The Speaker has considerable discretion as to whether to interpret standing orders in a liberal or conservative way, and Wilson has made a ruling which protects Labour and Field from scrutiny of very serious corruption allegations. Public confidence in Parliament will sink to new lows due to this.
Quite simply it is unacceptable that Field gets to parade around claiming he has been cleared and exonerated, and that he expects a Ministerial job back in time (something Clark has yet to rule out). ACT moved quickly to take action against Donna Awatere-Huata when she transgressed, and likewise National had Ian Revell resign as Deputy Speaker for a relatively trivial misuse of his position.
The Ingram Report makes it very clear that Field gave testimony that was not correct, and that his associates did the same. Ingram went out of his way to say these issues need further inquiry.
The Greens are showing commendable integrity with this issue, and wants Field further investigated and have said they will support a select committee inquiry. This is better than nothing.
Generally misdeeds by an MP get resolved by public pressure on their party to take action. This has worked in the past, but Clark and Cullen are refusing to even properly inquire into the truth, let alone take action. Cullen says Field is only guilty of trying to help people. Yeah Right!
UPDATE: According to the radio, National have announced they will indeed move a motion of no confidence in Speaker Wilson.