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National MP 'was wrong' to encourage coronavirus panic buying - Simon Bridges

National Party leader Simon Bridges says his MP David Bennett was out of line when he encouraged people to panic buy amid the coronavirus Covid-19 outbreak.

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David Bennett’s comments in a radio interview are being slammed as irresponsible. Source: 1 NEWS

In a radio interview with Free FM last week, Mr Bennett, the MP for East Hamilton, said the public "should be out panic buying".

"If you’re in Government and you’re in Parliament your job is to probably to ease people’s fears and that, but I don’t believe in this case you should. The reality is you should stock up on food," he said.

He also called on the Government to "close the borders" with China, South Korea, Iran and Italy to stop the spread of the disease.

When asked about these comments by 1 NEWS last week, Mr Bennett denied making them.

Today, 1 NEWS asked Simon Bridges what he made of his MP’s comments and asked if Mr Bennett was meeting the standards expected of his MPs.

"No," Mr Bridges said. "Look, we don’t agree with him – he was wrong – and that’s been made clear to him and he understands that.

"He was wrong and he now acknowledges that,"  Mr Bridges said.