Simon Bridges claims Mallard's ruling on political advertising is a freedom of speech issue

News 02/10/2019

National Party leader Simon Bridges is continuing his attack on a speaker ruling the party's attack ads using Parliament TV footage were in breach of standing orders.

The party defied Trevor Mallard's ruling its ads must come down by 5pm on Friday, instead MPs are on the offensive on Twitter, sharing other party's ads that used Parliament TV footage.

Bridges said he respects the speaker but he doesn't believe he should have to stop.  

We're not going to be censored, freedom of speech is important.

"[The media] could do everything we're doing, there would be no issues, but as members of Parliament, we can't.

"We think it's important that we can from our own perspective put out what we see happening in Parliament."

The issue of Parliament TV footage being used in political advertising was brought to Mallard's attention after a complaint from Labour Party MP Kieran McAnulty on Thursday.

"[McAnulty raised] the use by the Leader of the Opposition of official television coverage of the House for political advertising without the permission of the members shown, and publishing a false and misleading account of proceedings contrary to Part B, Appendix D of Standing Orders," Mallard said on Thursday.

That section of the House's rules covers the use of official television coverage which "must not be used in any medium for political advertising or election campaigning (except with the permission of all members shown)".

The specific complaint related to a video that used cut and slowed down footage of Labour Party MP Deborah Russell.

Dr Russell joked she was proud of getting her own National Party attack ad, but Mallard ruled videos using edited Parliament TV footage featuring other MPs without their permission must be removed by 5pm on Friday.

The National Party refused to do so and they're still there more than three days after the deadline. The party even shared the video of Dr Russell that sparked the initial complaint at 6PM on Friday.

Bridges said he had no issue when footage of him was used, but the Government can't take the same treatment.

"When the Greens do one mocking my accent and so on, good for them, I quite enjoy it. But when the boot's on the other foot, the Government, certainly the Labour Party, 'oh you're not allowed to do this'."

Mallard is reviewing the rule that caused the initial furore urgently, with submissions on the review due to close on October 16. 

The AM Show / Newshub reporter Katie Fitzgerald