Simon Bridges doubles down on Jacinda Ardern's 'dishonest' text

Long Lunch 14/12/2018
Photo: File.

The National Party is calling Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern "dishonest" for not disclosing a text she received from a friend of Karel Sroubek.

Ms Ardern has admitted she received a text message from activist Richie Hardcore, who counts himself a friend of Sroubek.

But she insists it was an unsolicited text that she didn't respond to. She says she does not intend to release the text to the public.

National leader Simon Bridges says the text illustrates hypocrisy, claiming that Ms Ardern has "created an impression" that she has has little to do with the controversial Sroubek residency case.

"The picture being presented is not the reality," Mr Bridges told RadioLIVE.

He suggests that the Prime Minister may have known Sroubek before he was arrested, and that influenced the original decision not to deport him back to Europe at the end of his sentence.

"Why would [Richie Hardcore] send that? Is it because she knew Sroubek?" he said. 

"It seems to me, clearly, that a good friend here has become an inconvenience to her."

The National Party has called for the Government to release the text, which Mr Bridges says will ultimately will clear her name if there's nothing to hide.

The Czech citizen was initially granted residency by Immigration Minister Iain Lees-Galloway - a decision that was later reversed after relentless pressure.

The text was sent after media coverage of Immigration Minister Iain-Lees Galloway's original decision.

Listen to the full interview with Simon Bridges above.

The Long Lunch with Carly Flynn, 12pm - 3pm on RadioLIVE and streaming live to the rova app on Android and iPhone.