Mitch Harris: 'I'm going to look like a Simon Bridges defender'

Night Talk 05/11/2018
Credit: Getty.

Night Talk: Mitch Harris opening comments, Monday 5th November 2018.

Tonight: Do you feel for National Party leader Simon Bridges after another leaked recording from Jami-Lee Ross?

National Party leader Simon Bridges has defended comments he made on the latest leaked recording on the Jami-Lee Ross saga.

The latest tape is 19 minutes long, and features a conversation between Mr Ross, Mr Bridges and National deputy leader Paula Bennett. 

In the recording:

  • The trio discuss what reason they're going to give for Mr Ross going on leave, eventually settling on medical reasons because it would mean the media would "back off"
  • Mr Bridges tells Mr Ross if he sticks to the script he will never "never badmouth" him, and do "everything within my power" to keep the real reason for his departure out of the news
  • Mr Ross claims to not know the nature of his alleged offending, and rejects claims of harassment
  • Ms Bennett says if she told caucus what he's done, "that would be enough" to presumably expel him from the party
  • Mr Bridges suggests if Mr Ross follows their instructions, he may even get a promotion.

Mr Bridges told The AM Show on Monday morning he was "dealing with an incredibly complex situation", and stands by his course of action.

"We had the inappropriate behaviour, we had the disruptive conduct, but what we also had was serious unwellness. We had medical specialist advice in relation to that. So I feel absolutely sure we did the right thing in the circumstances in the situation."

Night Talk with Mitch Harris, 8pm - 12am Monday to Thursday nights on RadioLIVE, and streaming live to the rova app on Android and iPhone.