'It's not sexist to criticise the Prime Minister' - Simon Bridges

The AM Show 21/08/2019

Simon Bridges says it's not sexist to level criticism at the Prime Minister in the wake of comments from controversial talkback host Alan Jones.

Jones is under heavy fire for his comment that Jacinda Ardern should have a sock shoved down her throat while she was at the Pacific Leaders Forum.

Bridges told The AM Show he thinks Jones went too far, but there's nothing wrong with having a crack at the Prime Minister.

"It is not sexist to criticise the Prime Minister.

"Actually if you take me I do it from time to time because I disagree with her fundamentally, whether it's on Ihumātao, whether its on petrol taxes."

That's not sexism, that's calling it as I see it.

Ardern has refused to give an opinion on Jones, telling The AM Show on Monday she's got other things on her plate.

"I have tried very hard, specifically on this Alan Jones comment, you won't find me having particularly reacted or responded.

"I don't have an opinion on every single person that says something about me, particularly given this is an Australian commentator. We have enough of our own to occupy my time."

Bridges faced accusations of sexism when he labelled Ardern a "part-time Prime Minister" during her trip to Tokelau in July.

He still stands by those comments though, even after The AM Show host Duncan Garner told him he went too far.

"I don't think so, look it was really showing New Zealanders my sense, and I think a growing number of New Zealander's sense, that the Prime Minister and actually her Government is a bit part-time."

The AM Show / Newshub reporter Katie Fitzgerald