In a bombshell statement late on Wednesday, National's Judith Collins said Simon Bridges, the former leader of the party, had been demoted and relieved of his portfolio responsibilities following an "allegation of serious misconduct" towards a caucus colleague a number of years ago.
Bridges earlier accused Collins of trying to hold onto the National Party leadership at any cost, describing her demotion of him on Wednesday as "truly desperate stuff".
Collins has since lost her job as leader, and the party is seeking a new one.
At the centre of all of this is Jacqui Dean, who accused Bridges of misconduct. She released this statement:
"About five years ago, Simon Bridges made remarks that upset me at the time. They were not about me, but they were inappropriate and not something I wanted to hear, National MP for Waitaki Jacqui Dean says.
"At the time there was an apology, but subsequently it has continued to play on my mind and with the recent reviews that have occurred in Parliament the feelings have been brought back up.
"What matters to me is that all of us have a clear understanding of what behaviour we should expect in a modern workplace environment.
"Simon and I have spoken a number of times over the past few hours and he has reiterated his apology.
"As I’m sure can be appreciated, the publicity around this has been upsetting and I ask that my privacy is respected on this."
Additional reporting by Newshub.