Paula Bennett kicked out of House as tempers flare between Speaker and National

by RNZ / 24 May, 2018

National's deputy leader Paula Bennett was ejected from the House for interjecting and after she questioned the speaker about why she was made to apologise for yesterday's storm-off. Photo: RNZ / Richard Tindiller

There have been testy scenes at Parliament this afternoon during Question Time, with National's deputy leader thrown out of the House.

Yesterday, the National Party issued a furious letter to Parliament's speaker Trevor Mallard, a Labour MP, demanding he explain his role in a story about an alleged sexist remark.

Today, National's deputy leader Paula Bennett was ejected from the House for interjecting and after she questioned the speaker about why she was made to apologise for storming out yesterday in frustration over the speaker's actions.

Other National MPs were repeatedly asked to withdraw and apologise for remarks they were making during Question Time.

Mr Mallard made no explanation today, in response to the National Party's letter, for his role in the story about the alleged sexist remark.

Since becoming speaker, Labour's Trevor Mallard has introduced a new system of discipline - deducting questions from MPs who interrupt proceedings.

Shadow Leader of the House Gerry Brownlee wrote yesterday to Mr Mallard expressing National's concerns.

The alleged sexist remark, which led the National Party to issue a letter about, was first reported last week by Newshub but no source was given.

Mr Mallard confirmed on Wednesday those were the words he heard. The audio recording of the incident is unclear and National's MPs have denied saying any such thing.

Mr Brownlee said "promoting stories about events which cannot be verified" was unacceptable for the Speaker, whose job it is to "take a neutral role" and make sure Parliament runs effectively..

"None of us heard it and none of us said it," he said.

"The only person who says he heard it is the speaker and we are concerned about why some days after it had been dealt with, it's now back in the media."

And he took umbrage with Mr Mallard calling an MP a "naughty child" and allowing another to be called a "fool" without intervening.

National also had concerns about the "arbitrary way" Mr Mallard was running Parliament saying it was "seriously limiting" its ability to hold the government to account, Mr Brownlee's letter said.

Mr Mallard rejected that accusation yesterday, telling National MPs that under his "disciplinary" system their party had received an extra 22 supplementary questions so far this term.

National said its confidence in the speaker had been "severely shaken".

A spokesperson for Mr Mallard said he would not be making any comment to the media about the story.

This article was originally published by RNZ.

Latest

How you can help crack the insect code at Te Papa
101529 2019-01-23 00:00:00Z Science

How you can help crack the insect code at Te Papa

by Sam Button

Te Papa is on a mission to decipher the secret life of insects.

Read more
Bill Ralston says goodbye to Auckland
101333 2019-01-23 00:00:00Z Life in NZ

Bill Ralston says goodbye to Auckland

by Bill Ralston

Our columnist finally turns his back on the congested, costly city of his birth.

Read more
Decision to force woman to pay likely abuser will have 'chilling effect'
101496 2019-01-22 11:12:54Z Crime

Decision to force woman to pay likely abuser will…

by RNZ

The lawyer of a woman ordered to pay $28,000 to her likely abuser has urged the justice minister to intervene.

Read more
7 traits that show how unsuited Trump is to the White House
101194 2019-01-22 00:00:00Z World

7 traits that show how unsuited Trump is to the Wh…

by Paul Thomas

Instead of striving to be disciplined, dedicated and presidential, Trump is flitting between seven characters that have no place in the White House.

Read more
Why vitamin D production is slower in old age
101151 2019-01-22 00:00:00Z Nutrition

Why vitamin D production is slower in old age

by Jennifer Bowden

Getting our quota of vitamin D becomes more important – but more difficult – as we age.

Read more
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