Collins stands by failed no confidence vote, says Mallard 'destroyed a man's career'

Source: 1News

The National Party is planning a second attempt today to get Trevor Mallard ditched as Speaker of the House after he "defamed and destroyed a man's career" with false rape allegations almost two years ago.

Three cases of serious sexual assault came out in an independent review in May 2019, which looked into bullying and harassment in Parliament.

"We can interpret any sexual assault as being serious, but three appear to be in the rape category," Mallard told Breakfast at the time. "My view is that any serious sexual assault, man on woman, is rape."

However, in December — 18 months after the accusation — Mallard issued an apology to the accused Parliamentary staffer, admitting he was wrong.

The long defamation battle cost taxpayers $333,600.

Yesterday, National failed in a "no confidence" motion to de-throne him, though.

But Collins this morning told Breakfast she stands by her party's position.

"I have never seen anything in Parliament, I don't think anyone has, where we've had the Speaker who seriously defamed and destroyed, essentially, a man's career, knew that he'd made these allegations that were false, by his own admission, 24 hours after he'd made them, and he continued to defend a defamation case brought for 18 months at vast expense to taxpayers," she said.

"The fact that Trevor Mallard admitted just before Parliament ended last year that he'd known 24 hours after he'd made the statement accusing this man of being a rapist, or accusing somewhat of being a rapist, that he was wrong, that I think is just extraordinary."

However, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has continued to back Mallard as Speaker despite the fact he "made a mistake".

Collins asked, "If she [Ardern] was the chief executive of a big international company, or a big company and she had a senior manager who behaved like that, who continued to defend the indefensible for 18 months at vast expense to taxpayer and this man's career and life, would she really say that that guy should stay in the job?"