National MP says Judith Collins 'bullied' another MP in her party

Jessica Mutch McKay
Source: 1News

A National MP has told 1 NEWS the party hasn’t had a caucus call or poll result for weeks and says there is a culture issue in the party.

The National leader said she will always stand up for farmers and the valuable work they do.

The MP told 1 NEWS Judith Collins has “bullied” MP Denise Lee and hasn’t brought the caucus together.

It comes after an email leaked to Newshub showed National's Auckland Council spokesperson Denise Lee criticising a National policy to review Auckland Council .

Lee called it a "highly problematic idea", a "nightmare" and "another working group", and said bypassing her was "incredibly poor form and displays a shockingly bad example of poor culture", while another National Party member said Collins was consistently "making up policy on the hoof" and creating division.

Lee has since issued a statement saying she sent an email to MPs which was supposed to be kept within their ranks.

"I completely disagree with the actions of the person who leaked the email and have since spoken with our party leader Judith Collins," Lee said.

"I accept the leadership’s decision about the policy announcement which acknowledges that Auckland Council needs to lift its performance.

"I remain focused on winning the seat of Maungakiekie and unreservedly support Judith Collins as leader and future Prime Minister.”

The MP who alleges the bullying told 1 NEWS that Lee is in full campaign mode and was “forcibly expressing her disappointment” over not being in the loop about the policy. The MP says decisions need to be made quickly on the campaign trail.


The unnamed MP also said releasing policy on the fly was an ongoing pattern under Collins' leadership.

An email sent to National's caucus by Lee said she understands things can change in a campaign but its wrong to bypass the spokesperson all together.

Collins denied there's a division in her party when questioned by media today.

Collins said "one of the joys" of being party leader was that she makes the decisions.

"I'm not making up policy on the hoof, so number one leaders do make decisions, that's part of leadership," she said.

"I understand that the MP involved it's her first time campaigning as an MP. The thing is that that's what leaders do, Miss Ardern calls it the captain's call, I call it the leader's call."