Judith Collins and her former press secretary are now in a public slanging match, with National's leader accused of taking a cheap shot at microbiologist Siouxsie Wiles.
Veteran journalist, turned media advisor, Janet Wilson says its proof Collins isn't up for the job, but Collins says neither was the advisor
Wilson turned on her former boss in a podcast with The Spinoff today.
"She prizes loyalty above all else but her ugly step sister paranoia steps in and she has these almost paranoid storms," Wilson said.
The former advisor said Collins took a cheap shot at microbiologist Wiles over her actions at an Auckland beach during the current level 4 lockdown.
"I think she's a big fat hypocrite actually and I'm sick and tired of her telling everyone else what to do," Collins said at the time.
"I think Friday's speech to the National Samoan Group on Siouxise Wiles was completely unacceptable in a National Party leader, completely unacceptable," Wilson told the Fold Podcast.
Collins told stuff she inherited Wilson from her predecessor Todd Muller.
"I'm not worried about someone who was once a press secretary for a few months," Collins said of Wilson.
She also brushed off allegations of paranoia as "unprofessional"
"I think that's a very odd thing to say and I think it shows an unprofessionalism that I would not have expected from someone who had been employed in a very generous way," Collins said.
ACT was taken aback by Collins' attack on Wiles.
"If someone is holier than thou they'll always be ripe for criticism, but I didn't think she deserved that much," said leader, David Seymour.
Chris Bishop, National's Covid-19 response spokesperson, was more forgiving.
"It's not the language that I tend to use but people can come to their own judgements around all of that."
Covid-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins' response echoed Wilson's.
"I noticed that Judith Collins said on Radio New Zealand this morning said that thought leaders should lead by example.
"I totally agree with that, I can only take from that that she does not regard herself as a thought leader."