National steers clear as police investigate text sent to Jami-Lee Ross

by RNZ / 25 January, 2019
Jami-Lee Ross and Sarah Dowie.

Jami-Lee Ross and Sarah Dowie. Photo/RNZ

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The National Party is not commenting on a police investigation into a text message allegedly sent to Jami-Lee Ross from the phone of one of its MPs.

Mr Ross has previously named his former colleague, MP Sarah Dowie, as someone he was having an extra-marital affair with.

It's understood the text message, which included the words "you deserve to die" came from Ms Dowie's phone in August last year, at 1:19am on a Saturday.

Mr Ross said he was fully co-operating with police.

Read more: Parliament’s star-crossed lovers who crossed each other

The National Party said it would not be appropriate to comment given a police investigation was underway.

From Rātana yesterday, Simon Bridges said he wished Mr Ross well in terms of his wellbeing journey.

"We expelled him towards the end of last year, he's no longer one of our MPs, bluntly speaking he's no longer our problem," he said.

"As far as I'm concerned, National under my leadership is moving on and dealing with the things that New Zealand wants to see which is positive plans for our country for the 2020s."

The message was part of a major controversy involving the National Party last year, which concluded in Mr Ross being sent to a Middlemore Hospital mental health facility by police.

Mr Ross said in an interview with Newshub on Tuesday that he did not lay a complaint about the text message with police. He said it came from a call made by a member of the public to the Crimestoppers hotline.

The 61 word message was revealed in late October, following Mr Ross' full-scale kamikaze effort to take down the National leadership team who he says squeezed him out of his job.

They sent him out on "medical leave" which he now claims was a ploy by the party to make him go away.

Mr Ross has since apologised publicly for some of the things he did last year, ahead of his return to Parliament on 12 February.

This article was first published on Radio NZ.

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