Tova O’Brien writes:
Just as Jami-Lee Ross was the most damaging political scandal of the year for National, Karel Sroubek has been the most piercing dagger in Labour’s side.
And just as Mr Ross tainted Simon Bridges and his leadership so too does Sroubek damage the Prime Minister. …
Which is why her failure to disclose a text she got from her buddy – and Sroubek’s good mate – Richie Hardcore is so problematic.
It’s extremely unlikely there’s any great conspiracy here – no Ardern/Hardcore/Sroubek alliance – but this is a perception issue and it looks dodgy.
We don’t know what’s in that text. She tells us it’s innocuous, a congratulatory note sent after Sroubek was granted residency by her immigration minister.
There’s an element of the Hillary Clinton private email scandal in all this, the Prime Minister’s been in deep water for using personal channels for official communications before.
Derek Handley was messaging and emailing the Prime Minister on her private number and her personal email about the high-profile, freshly minted government role he was going for.
It felt like it took an eon to pry details from the Prime Minister about her relationship with Handley, let alone force her to disclose the messages.
At the time Ms Ardern stood up in front of the Parliament and told us all not to worry about her using personal platforms for official communications. She told us it was all above board because we could access it through official channels like the Official Information Act (OIA).
That was entirely disingenuous and simply not the case. Newshub has made multiple requests of the Prime Minister’s Office under the OIA for details of official communications she’s had using personal email or messaging platforms. We have been stonewalled and refused every time.
Remember the most open and transparent government ever!