Mallard calls inquiry off

The Herald reports:

Parliament’s Speaker Trevor Mallard has called off the inquiry into the leaking of Simon Bridges’ expenses.

Mallard has ruled it is a Party matter and therefore not something Parliament needs to be involved in.

Mallard said he had told Bridges the inquiry was off and the National leader did not agree with the decision.

“He disagrees with it,” Mallard said.

“He wants the inquiry to continue. I have indicated to him that the Parliamentary Service will co-operate 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.”

The National Party is expected to comment shortly on Mallard’s decision.

Mallard also said: “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.

It’s curious that the Speaker says he has had confirmed the texter and the leaker are the same person. Who would know this and be able to confirm this? Newshub I guess.

It is worth noting that an inquiry can still go forward – but an internal inquiry by The Parliamentary Service, rather than an external one.

I don’t think it is tenable for the leaker not to be identified. It’s a slur on the rest of the National caucus to just let it ride. And also it is still not certain it is an MP.

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