How long can Simon Bridges avoid questions about Jami-Lee Ross?

Simon Bridges

Simon Bridges is trying the strategy of refusing to answer any more questions about Jami-Lee Ross.

This is not going to work out well for him. The media are following every tweet from Ross and are publishing it within minutes. Then there are the other questions the media want answers to. Like who is the female MP that he had an affair with and has she had any other affairs and what about the rumours about her relationships in her own electorate? It’s coming up to BBQ season and Simon Bridges could soon be on the menu.

Once he navigates these questions and the gossip he also has to navigate the inquiry about the culture in the National Party because he has not yet learned that inquiries are only bad news for National.

He can also look forward to the massive media story of Jami-Lee Ross returning to parliament, and all the interviews Ross will undoubtedly give on his return. Then there is the small matter of whether Ross decides to use parliamentary privilege to disclose other things about National. I wonder if he will ask if any other MPs fail the Bennett test about relationships that are “inappropriate for married MPs.” I wonder if he will use parliamentary privilege for anything else?

Simon Bridges is a fool if he thinks that the media will not ask him questions about these things. He cannot credibly hide from these questions, and he cannot ignore Jami-Lee Ross’s return to parliament.

The one thing that the Labour party do really well is shutting down a scandal. If Ross was their headache they would have agreed much, much earlier in the piece to a face-saving exit with a cushy job overseas.

National, on the other hand, has a history of treating even loyal people badly, and will not hesitate to throw them under the bus if it is politically expedient. Maybe Jacinda is right. The Labour party at least when it comes to shutting down scandals and getting rid of problems put kindness first when it comes to their own people. Not because they are kind but because it is simply more effective than slamming people against a brick wall or pushing them into a corner.


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