War breaks out in National as Jami-lee Ross named as leaker

I’m a bit late to this story because of pressing other issues, which may or may not become apparent soon. However it is too big a story to ignore.

This afternoon Simon Bridges released the report into the leaker and named Jami-lee Ross as the leaker. This confirms what I have known for more than a month. Quote.

Sidelined National MP Jami-Lee Ross has been identified as the person who leaked Simon Bridges? expenses ? but he furiously denies the accusation.

Bridges called a press conference for 1pm and told reporters an inquiry by PwC had concluded Ross was the person who leaked the information.

Bridges said he had also spoken with Ross about his conduct, which showed a pattern of offending.

Bridges called this a ?pattern of conduct.?

?The report here, speaks for itself,? he said.

Asked why he does not just sack Ross, Bridges said because it?s about the National Party ? that?s why he said he is bringing it before caucus tomorrow.

The National caucus would now discuss Ross? future with the party tomorrow.

?Suspension is definitely an option,? Bridges said.

Ross, who has taken medical leave from Parliament, had pre-empted Bridges? press conference, taking to Twitter to say that he would be blamed.

Bridges addressed Ross? Tweet saying he was not surprised by his reaction due to the circumstances.

He said his allegations were wrong and Ross was ?lashing out?.

Bridges insisted his leadership of the party was still strong.

He said he had the full confidence of caucus, saying what the report shows is that was the action of one single Member of Parliament. End quote.

Simon Bridges is as exposed as Jami-lee Ross is right now. He is exposed for his weakness as a leader, in not dumping Ross weeks ago and taking the soft option. His own words about not being connected to the inquiry will haunt him as he is lying that it wasn’t connected. Everyone in National knows this and so do the media. His handling of the issue is appalling and this morning was dreadful on Duncan Garner’s show.

My position as regards to the leaker is the same as it has always been. Find them, rinse them, move on. Political parties cannot have sneaky leakers involved in them but my position on the leadership has not changed either and on that, I’m afraid Simon Bridges has been found wanting. If this plays out as I fear it will then Simon Bridges is doomed.

Full PWC Report.