An overview: The feud between rogue MP Jami-Lee Ross and National leader Simon Bridges

The feud between rogue MP Jami-Lee Ross and National leader Simon Bridges continues. 

In October 2018, MP Jami-Lee Ross took a complaint against National leader Simon Bridges to police over a $100,000 donation. Mr Bridges repeatedly denied all allegations. Source: 1 NEWS

Below is an overview of the developments leading up to, and including, this volatile week in politics. 


The expenses leak: Simon Bridges' MP expenses were released earlier than scheduled, with $113,973 spent on travel and accommodation between April and June.

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Mr Bridges said if the leaker is not a National MP or staffer, they may not be found. Source: 1 NEWS

An inquiry was launched by Mr Bridges. An anonymous text message was sent to Mr Bridges and the Speaker asking for it to be called off, saying the sender had mental health issues. 


The leave: Jami-Lee Ross announced he would be taking medical leave. Simon Bridges said it was not connected to the expenses leak.

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The MP for Botany in Auckland says he's been dealing with some personal health issues. Source: 1 NEWS


The report: The report into the inquiry was released this week which suggested Jami-Lee Ross was the expenses leaker and sender of the text message.

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The Opposition leader launched an inquiry into the leak of his expenses earlier this year. Source: 1 NEWS

The PWC report said it had not identified the leaker with certainty, however, "the evidence we have points to Mr Ross". 

Simon Bridges scheduled a press conference to announce the details of the report and would name Mr Ross as the person the report said was likely behind the leak.

The tweets: However, just minutes earlier, Mr Ross posted a number of tweets in which he said he had fallen out with Mr Bridges some months ago.

Mr Ross said in his tweets that he had become "expendable" and that Mr Bridges was about to "pin his leak inquiry on me".

He claimed Mr Bridges was attempting to use contact with Mr Ross' local police area commander and a journalist he is friends with as evidence that he is "somehow involved".

Mr Ross then made an accusation saying he had recorded the National Party leader "discussing with me unlawful activity that he was involved in".

The stand-up: Mr Bridges denied all of Mr Ross' accusations, saying the tweets were "false comments".

"He would say those things, given the situation… I've released the report… and it speaks for itself."


National MPs: National MPs arrived at Parliament in the morning, ready to vote on Mr Ross' future in the National Party caucus. 

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The National Party leader today made a statement defending his position and welcoming a police inquiry into claims of electoral donation fraud. Source: 1 NEWS

"Extraordinary", "raw", "deeply disappointed" were used to describe the situation around Jami-Lee Ross by his then colleagues. 

What Jami-Lee Ross said: While the National MPs were meeting to determine his fate, Jami-Lee Ross gave an impromptu media conference. 

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1 NEWS’s Benedict Collins unpicks a morning of high drama surrounding the National MP. Source: 1 NEWS

- Mr Ross called Mr Bridges a "corrupt politician", and accused him of electoral fraud. 

- He said he would be making an official police complaint. 

- Mr Ross also told media this morning he would resign as a member of Parliament, sparking a by-election for the Botany seat.

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1 NEWS’ Katie Bradford takes a look at Mr Ross’ chances of keeping his seat. Source: 1 NEWS

- Mr Ross said he would run as an independent.

What National leader Simon Bridges said: Mr Bridges dismissed the claims as "baseless", and encouraged him to report the matter to the police. 

'I have done absolutely nothing wrong," he said.

He said the party would not tolerate Mr Ross' behaviour, and National MPs had voted to expel him from caucus. 

"The lies, the leaks and other matters as well, are entirely unacceptable," Mr Bridges said. 

The businessman: Mr Ross tweeted photos of Simon Bridges and a Chinese businessman this afternoon who Mr Ross says made a $100,000 donation. 

The National Party: National Party President  Peter Goodfellow released a statement at 4.35pm saying they would "find no proof of the accusations and assertions made by Jami-Lee Ross today in regard to the handling of our political donations". 

"The allegations made by Mr Ross appear inconsistent with the donor information we have to date, including information previously supplied by Mr Ross.

"We understand Mr Ross will be taking his allegations to the Police, and we invite him to do so."


The Police Station: Jami-Lee Ross spent almost two hours in Wellington Police station, emerging to say he had filed a complaint against leader Simon Bridges. Mr Bridges has denied all allegations against him. 

The Recording: Shortly after speaking to media, Mr Ross released a phone recording made earlier this year between himself and Simon Bridges. 

The pair discuss a party donation, the race of some list MPs, and which MPs should be pushed out.

Maureen Pugh: In the recording, Mr Bridges referred to MP Maureen Pugh as "f*****g useless". He quickly apologised for this statement. Ms Pugh said she was disappointed but accepted the apology

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The National politician, supported by fellow MP Matt King, spoke with 1 NEWS about the controversy. Source: 1 NEWS

Bridges' reaction: Simon Bridges responded to the recording release, saying Jami-Lee Ross "defamed me and he is a liar".

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Mr Ross released a recording of a phone call this after afternoon between himself and Mr Bridges. Source: 1 NEWS

"Jami-Lee Ross has been secretly taping me consistently for many, many months. It's a monumental breach of trust. I have done absolutely nothing wrong."


The Newsroom article: Four women have spoken to Newsroom claiming they felt intimidated, manipulated, abused or groomed while working with Jami-Lee Ross, and spoke on condition of anonymity. Mr Ross has not yet responded to the allegations. 

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Melanie Reid says it was a tipping point for the women when Ross said he was brought up to respect women. Source: Breakfast