The Herald reports:
A new leaked conversation between National Party leader Simon Bridges, Paula Bennett and embattled MP Jami-Lee Ross, shows the trio apparently discussing how to present Ross’ medical leave at the height of speculation the party had a leaker in its midst. …
At one point in the recording Bridges says: “There are downsides for me, letting you off with what you’ve done, OK, I just want you to understand that. But if you take the statement for you, and your behaviour subsequently is good, I will never refer to the matters we’ve talked about … again.”
Bridges also reportedly says: “The truth is Jami-Lee we can get through it, and you can get through it, and you can come out the other side if your attitude after the time out is good and positive, and you can be promoted again.”
So Bridges and Bennett were not hellbent on forcing JLR out. They were basically offering him time off, a demotion to the backbenches and potential promotion again in future if his behaviour was good.
Sadly JLR still seems to regard himself as the victim in this.