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'My life has been laid bare' - Embattled MP Jami-Lee Ross releases lengthy plea to constituents

Embattled former National MP Jami-Lee Ross issued a lengthy statement this evening on social media asking his constituents for understanding and offering an olive branch to Simon Bridges - three months after his public feud with the Opposition Leader led to his ouster from the party.

Source: 1 NEWS

In a Facebook post titled "Leaving bitterness and hatred behind", Mr Ross said he's been "to hell and back".

"I almost lost everything... I just can’t be driven by hatred anymore, or the pursuit of getting even with Simon Bridges, Paula Bennett or anyone else in the National Party," he wrote. "Life is too short for that. My time and energy needs to be focused on doing everything I can for my family, my constituents and my country."

In the post, Mr Ross also issued a plea to the 70,000 people living in his electorate: "I hope they are willing to judge me on the decade and a half I have spent serving Botany and the wider Howick area, and not that one challenging and confusing month where things fell apart for a while.

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"I think we can all sort of have a guess what my lowlight is," he told Breakfast today while reflecting on the year. Source: Breakfast

"I am still the same person that has always worked hard for them, that has never been afraid to speak up for them, or knock on their door and front up to them face to face. The only difference is that my life has been laid bare for all to see now, and I happen to be a flawed human being."

He also reflected on last year's events, including being admitted to hospital for mental health care.

"Last year showed me that I need to be a better husband, I need to be a better boss, and I needed to be honest with myself about my own mental health struggles a lot earlier," he said. "I have been working really hard on these things in the past few months."

He was being treated by a psychiatrist for the later part of last year, he said, adding that he no longer has "hatred or animosity" towards Bridges and his deputy, Paula Bennett.

"At the time they were doing all they knew how to do with the skillset they have," he said. "But I still take responsibility, because it wasn’t fair on them.

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The recorded conversation yesterday had the National leader, deputy Paula Bennett and Mr Ross discussing medical leave. Source: 1 NEWS

"It wasn’t fair on Simon and Paula for them to be put in a position where they had to choose between helping someone with a health issue, or to put that person under more pressure because it was the better political move to make."