Simon Bridges loses portfolios after 'serious misconduct' claim

Source: 1News

National MP Simon Bridges has been demoted following a complaint which involves an allegation of serious misconduct.

Simon Bridges

1News understands it’s a serious comment of a verbal sexual nature. The MP, understood to be Jaqui Dean, made a complaint at the time.

On Wednesday evening, National Party leader Judith Collins issued a statement which says the decision was made with unanimous support of the board of the National Party.

"Simon Bridges, Member for Tauranga, has been demoted and relieved of his portfolio responsibilities," it reads.

"The decision follows an allegation of serious misconduct relating to Simon Bridges’ interaction with a caucus colleague.

"The case relates to comments made by Mr Bridges to a female caucus colleague at a function a number of years ago."

Collins says the complaint left her with no choice but to demote Bridges.

"Having been made aware of the seriousness of the complaint for the first time and the ongoing distress this has caused the complainant, I was left with no option but to immediately demote Simon Bridges and relieve him of his portfolio responsibilities.

"This decision has not been made lightly. However, the seriousness of the situation demands a swift and decisive response."

Judith Collins.

Collins added that, "under my leadership, the National Party will not tolerate harassment and intimidation of any person.

"Members of Parliament and staff should be able to conduct their duties at all times without feeling unsafe or intimidated, and all deserve to be treated with absolute respect by their colleagues in all situations."

Bridges was out and about in Wellington today promoting his new book at a signing event.

Collins is due to front media on Thursday morning at 10am to further elaborate on the matter.