20 Oct 2018

Gallery: The week in politics

10:51 am on 20 October 2018

There was only one story in town this week and that was the exposure of the National Party and its leadership to a range of hugely damaging accusations by its former MP Jami-Lee Ross.

He has unleashed a campaign of vengeance against his former leader Simon Bridges and by association the rest of the National Party.

Mr Ross had quit the National Party and the caucus, and promised to resign from Parliament altogether and run in Botany as an independent.

There have been claims and counter-claims about corrupt electoral practices, bullying and harassment and buying political influence.

All of which has severely tested the leadership of Simon Bridges and left his caucus in state of anger, shock and disbelief.

It all began with the leak of Mr Bridges travel expenses, an act that would set the ball rolling for the most extraordinary events seen in recent political history.

The week's events have left his caucus reeling, and concerned about what other taped conversations are in the possession of Jami-Lee Ross, to be used as further ammunition in coming weeks.

Mr Bridges has relationships to mend - among his own MPs and some key constituencies, as well as being accused of putting National Party candidacies up for sale, and of pandering to foreign interests.

But Jami-Lee Ross has failed to land a fatal blow to back up the claims he made some days ago.

Police are taking a closer look at his claims and the material he passed over, before deciding whether or not to launch a formal investigation - the rest for Mr Bridges will be down to political management.