National's Judith Collins says leader Simon Bridges has her full support as he deals with the fallout of his claims renegade MP Jami-Lee Ross was behind the leak of his travel expenses.
A dramatic day yesterday saw Mr Ross take to Twitter, making a series of explosive allegations, before Mr Bridges went public with his belief, based on an investigation, that the Botany MP was behind the leak.
Mr Ross' future with the party could be decided today as the party meets in Wellington, with Mr Bridges saying yesterday suspension was an option.
Jessica Mutch McKay says Simon Bridges faces a "long, drawn out and embarrassing process to try and get rid of him".
Source: 1 NEWS
Ms Collins spoke with 1 NEWS at Auckland Airport today, as she prepared to fly to Wellington, and said she was disappointed with Mr Ross' behaviour.
"I'm absolutely supporting the leader," she said.
"I'm deeply disappointed and sad that Jami-Lee Ross behaved like that.
"Absolutely backing the leader."
Mr Seymour says everyone makes mistakes, and now it’s time to move on from the leaking scandal.
Mr Bridges said the report pointed to Mr Ross as sending an anonymous text that blew the lid on Mr Bridges' travel expenses, days before they were to be made public anyway.
The PWC report said it had not identified the leaker with certainty, however, "the evidence we have points to Mr Ross".
As the National Party leader was about to make the announcement yesterday, 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 can not find who the actual leak is," Mr Ross wrote.
The Opposition leader launched an inquiry into the leak of his expenses earlier this year.
Source: 1 NEWS
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".
"I have said they are unrelated - he does not wish to believe that. Some months ago I fell out with Simon. I have internally been questioning leadership decisions he was making, and his personal poll ratings which show he is becoming more and more unlikable in the public’s eyes."
Mr Ross then claimed he had recorded the National Party leader "discussing with me unlawful activity that he was involved in".
In his tweets Mr Ross added: "Working on his instruction, he asked me to do things with election donations that broke the law".
Mr Bridges denied all of Mr Ross' accusations and called Mr Ross' tweets "false comments".
"He would say those things, given the situation… I've released the report… and it speaks for itself."
Other National MPs have hit out at Mr Ross, meaning he is unlikely to find much support for his position.