Trevor Mallard should resign from The Speaker’s job, I believe, before he faces a vote of no confidence when Parliament resumes sitting in February.
National’s lost confidence in him and Labour, the party that preaches wellbeing and kindness, surely will have no choice but to vote against his continuing in the role.
It’s been confirmed that the almost $334,000 in legal costs have been paid out by the taxpayer. Why? Well Mallard had the rules changed after he made his outrageous comment to protect him from having to pay the bill for something he should have known would go against him.
The tragedy in all of this is that the man he accused of a terrible crime, who spoke exclusively to me after the Mallard allegation last year, has suffered serious health issues since he was sent packing and it looks as though he will get nothing from the settlement.
The rule change is significant because it allows MPs to not just cover their own costs of a lawsuit, but also any settlement.
Jacinda Ardern, who is close to Mallard, has so far kept the issue at arm’s length.
She was asked in what other workplace in New Zealand would someone be able to falsely accuse a person of being a rapist and keep his job.
Ardern simply referred the questioner to the apologetic statement Mallard had made.
She may not be able to remove him from office, that’s Parliament’s job. But she at least should say whether the Speaker’s behaviour is acceptable to her.
I’d say the chances of Labour voting to remove Mallard as Speaker is somewhere between 0% and 0.000001%