Simon Bridges mocked over 'leadership issue' in question time spat

Source: 1News

National MP Simon Bridges was taunted by two Labour MPs in Parliament today, when he interrupted their responses during question time.

The first jab came from Police Minister Poto Williams, as she continued a discussion around recent policing decisions.

Bridges had clashed with Police Commissioner Andrew Coster earlier today, asking: "Commissioner, do police still arrest criminals in New Zealand?”

Williams was answering a question by fellow Labour MP Ginny Andersen about advice she'd received regarding organised crime, sparking a flurry of activity in the house as various MPs called out and made comments.

"Mr Bridges, is this a leadership issue for you? Would you mind just letting me answer the question?" Williams retorted.

She was quickly interrupted by Speaker Trevor Mallard, who ordered her to take her seat.

"Can I ask the minister to respond to the question and not to be diverted by irrelevant, or even relevant, interjections — but especially ones that are relevant. But I say that her response is not helpful," Mallard said.

He also said he was "getting a bit concerned with noise levels" as the MPs answered questions and said things were "not looking very healthy".

"It's not being helped by the minister," he added.

Williams' retort was likely referring to Bridges' previous role as the leader of the National Party, before he was rolled by Todd Muller — who in turn stepped down and was replaced by Judith Collins.

It wasn't the only jab directed at Bridges today.

Minister of Transport Michael Wood responded to a question from Labour MP Kieran McAnulty about public transport initiatives in New Zealand when Bridges interjected with: "The Government hasn't built anything in four years."

When there were further interjections from the Opposition, Woods commented: "Someone's in need of affirmation on that side of the House, aren't they, today?"

Wood made a final parting shot in the last comments before question time wrapped up, saying: "On this side of the House, we're big enough to acknowledge everyone, even the Honorable Simon Bridges — even if his own colleagues won't."