Sean Plunket questions Jami-Lee Ross' apology

News 23/01/2019

Magic Talk host Sean Plunket is questioning Jami-Lee Ross' "so-called apology" and asking if those in his electorate should trust him as their local MP.

On Tuesday, the Botany representative and former National Party whip opened up about his mental illness and how he fell out with National leader Simon Bridges.

He said he was "leaving bitterness and hatred behind" and apologised to his wife and former employees for his behaviour.

But Plunket questioned if it was genuine, asking if we've seen "calculated public statements" designed to resurrect Mr Ross' career and reputation.

"She [Newshub political editor Tova O'Brien] did an interview with Jami-Lee Ross in which, supposedly, he was apologising and talking about his mental health issues," he said on Wednesday.

"My initial reaction was, when I read extracts from the apology, yes, that's an apology. Then I read the whole thing and I thought if that's an apology I am a ballet dancer - or a belly dancer."

Plunket says it sounded more like Mr Ross was preparing for revenge against Mr Bridges, his former leader.

"It didn't seem much like an apology to me. It seemed to me, from Jami-Lee Ross, it was a declaration of a resumption of hostilities."

Mr Bridges has a plan on how he's going to deal with his former friend, who caused him so many problems with his leaks of secret recordings and exposure of mysterious party donations.

"I'm going to ignore him," Mr Bridges told Plunket on Monday.

"Bluntly speaking, Jami-Lee Ross is no longer my problem. We expelled him from the caucus, it took up a month or two of time, my time as leader of the Opposition. It was a distraction."

Botany voters will have to wait until the next election to make Mr Ross leave, although Mr Bridges says members of his party are "working hard" to make sure people in the area will be able to discuss local issues with National MPs.

Plunket asked if Mr Ross was up to the challenge of representing his constituents.

"He's on the taxpayer's dime, and he says he can go back to Botany and be an effective MP," he says.

"Do you think he is capable of carrying on as the independent MP for Botany with any credibility or indeed any effectiveness?"