Simon Bridges points to Jami-Lee Ross as the National Party leaker

by RNZ / 15 October, 2018

Jami-Lee Ross has been identified as the National Party leaker after the party's inquiry into the leak, but the MP is denying he was responsible.

In a stand-up this afternoon, National Party leader Simon Bridges said the inquiry report identified Mr Ross as the most likely source of the leak, and he accepted that finding.

"The report states that the evidence identify points to Jami-Lee Ross as being the person who sent the anonymous text message. I am releasing that report today.

"It is his [John Billington QC's] opinion that on the balance of probabilities the evidence establishes that Jami-Lee Ross was the person who leaked the expenses and the sender of the text message."

Jami-Lee Ross.

READ MORE: Simon Bridges and the Expenses Leak is the worst Agatha Christie tale yet | Both National and Labour are struggling to keep their houses in order

Despite the revelations he said he was confident about his caucus and his leadership of the party.

He said these matters were only the result of a single member of parliament and will be dealt with in caucus tomorrow.

"This isn't about me, this is about getting 56 members of parliament, these matters are for caucus to consider," he said.

"The caucus will be asked to consider all relevant matters including his membership of caucus, finally you will recall, Jami-Lee took leave from Parliament given personal health issues, this action is completely separate. I didn't know what the investigation report would contain when the matters were addressed in recent weeks."

But in a series of tweets, Mr Ross said he was not responsible for the leak:

Mr Ross said that Mr Bridges was attempting to pin his leak inquiry on him, because he could not find out who the actual leak was.

He said Mr Bridges was attempting to use his contact with a local police area commander, and a journalist who he said was a friend, as evidence that he was somehow involved.

Mr Ross said it was all because he had been questioning Mr Bridges' leadership decisions.

The investigation, which was carried out by PwC, was looking into the leak of Mr Bridges' travel expenses in August.

In August, RNZ revealed a person claiming to be a National MP had sent a text message to Mr Bridges and the speaker, Trevor Mallard, pleading for the initial inquiry to be stopped for the sake of their mental health.

That led to Mr Mallard pulling the plug on that inquiry saying it was unlikely the text had been sent from anyone outside the National Party.

The National Party then decided to go ahead with its own investigation into the matter.

All National Party MPs signed a waiver to cover communications dating back to February.

But as the staff's employer, Parliamentary Services refused to give permission on their behalf.

Mr Mallard arranged a forensic investigation of emails and relevant databases connected to his office and those staff involved in the preparation of the expenses - about 20 staff in total.

KPMG, who carried it out, concluded there was no evidence that Mr Mallard or any Parliamentary Service finance staff were responsible for the leak.

This was first published on Radio NZ.

Latest

Why ethical eating often stops at the restaurant door
101520 2019-01-22 00:00:00Z Food

Why ethical eating often stops at the restaurant d…

by Rachel A. Ankeny and Heather Bray

Can a chef promote foraging, seasonality and plant-based eating, yet also serve meat and other animal-derived protein products on the same menu?

Read more
Why the Dunedin Museum of Natural Mystery is bound to attract the curious
101463 2019-01-22 00:00:00Z Life in NZ

Why the Dunedin Museum of Natural Mystery is bound…

by Ellen Rykers

Artist Bruce Mahalski's museum is the result of a lifetime of collecting.

Read more
Gillette ad isn't anti-men, it's anti-toxic masculinity – it should be welcomed
101480 2019-01-21 16:59:29Z Social issues

Gillette ad isn't anti-men, it's anti-toxic mascul…

by Nicola Bishop

The backlash against the Gillette ad shows how painfully little distance we as a society have covered since the #MeToo movement.

Read more
Cost of Auckland public transport to go up
101459 2019-01-21 14:08:56Z Auckland Issues

Cost of Auckland public transport to go up

by RNZ

Auckland's public transport users will soon see fares increase by up to 50 cents.

Read more
The future of gangs in New Zealand
101322 2019-01-21 00:00:00Z Social issues

The future of gangs in New Zealand

by Philippa Tolley

Best of RNZ: Gangs have been a feature of New Zealand society for more than half a century. Philippa Tolley takes a look at what future lies ahead.

Read more
How some Germans are countering the extremist views of the far-right
101320 2019-01-21 00:00:00Z World

How some Germans are countering the extremist view…

by Cathrin Schaer

Germans face a familiar dilemma in finding ways to oppose the views of the far-right Alternative for Germany party.

Read more
White Noise: Who is shaping Auckland's future?
101439 2019-01-21 00:00:00Z Auckland Issues

White Noise: Who is shaping Auckland's future?

by Kate Newton

Some Aucklanders have more say in their city's future than others.

Read more
Stephen Fry revisits the world of the Ancient Greeks in Heroes
101242 2019-01-21 00:00:00Z Books

Stephen Fry revisits the world of the Ancient Gree…

by Lauren Buckeridge

In his delightful way, Stephen Fry dips back into the ancient world with more stories of tests, quests and feats of old.

Read more