National MPs stage Parliament walkout after argument with Speaker

Source: 1News

National MPs Paul Goldsmith and Simon Bridges walked out of Parliament today after an argument with Speaker Trevor Mallard. 

Goldsmith was attempting to ask a question about education to Chris Hipkins — but Mallard said he should have sat down when he was called to order. 

"I was looking the other way, how can I see?" Goldsmith said. 

The party had based their projected debt target on older figures - a mistake which Labour's Grant Robertson pointed out.

"As I stood up, the member looked away," Mallard said. "I consider that deliberate and if he didn't hear me that's his problem."

Goldsmith asked how he was "supposed to judge whether you've stood up when you're looking the other way?"

"By using your ears," Mallard replied, to laughter. 

Goldsmith tried again, but was turned down by Mallard. At that point, both Chris Bishop and Simon Bridges stood up, with Bridges and Goldsmith walking out.

1 NEWS understands National will move a vote of no-confidence motion against the Speaker. 

National has been at loggerheads with Mallard, having last year demanded he step down as Speaker after incorrectly accusing a parliamentary staffer of rape. 

Over $300,000 of taxpayers' money was spent settling a claim between the Speaker and the man involved.