The Sunday Session with Francesca Rudkin •

Sunday Panel: Will Jacinda Ardern's kindness get in the way of punishing Trevor Mallard? - The Sunday Session with Francesca Rudkin

The Sunday Session with Francesca Rudkin

The future of Speaker Trevor Mallard is up in the air, after it was revealed tax payer's shelled out almost $334,000 to settle a legal bill.
It follows defamation action brought by a sacked Parliamentary staffer who Mallard wrongly labelled a rapist.
National got the payment details through a written question to Mallard and says it's lost confidence in him as Speaker.
Leader Judith Collins says the sheer size of the settlement's illustrates how serious the matter is.
Speaking on The Sunday Panel with Francesca Rudkin, TVNZ political reporter Katie Bradford says that Mallard is in a tricky situation, and his stubbornness reared its head.
"He can't accept that he was wrong and he let it carry on when he should have stayed away."
Political commentator Ben Thomas says that Mallard is known for his violent outbursts and bullying of civil servants, but believes that this is a case of him having good intentions after the report into bullying at Parliament. 
"I think Mallard is a victim of being too online, spending too much time on the internet in what people spend too much time on online call 'the discourse', wherein this post-Me Too world, everything from bullying and workplace harassment and what Mallard falsely alleged as rape collapsed into this one thing."
He says this is a situation where Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern is a victim of her own kindness, as seen in her past refusal to fire troublesome ministers.
"The part she can't to punish or take action against members of her team that she on a personal level likes."
Thomas says that if Mallard showed an appropriate apology, he could find a way through this. 
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