National supporters behind Gayford rumours, says expert

The AM Show 03/05/2018

Clarke Gayford has been subjected to a vicious smear campaign recently - and a politics expert says National Party supporters are to blame.

The rumours against Mr Gayford, the partner of Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, have spread widely in the past week. Newshub and RadioLIVE have received a number of inquiries from members of the public, but are legally unable to repeat the rumours.

Politik editor Richard Harman told The AM Show that the political right-wing was behind the allegations.

"When I've heard these things they've come from people on the fringes of the National Party," he says.

"They're probably not even members, but they're certainly supporters. And always there's another element in the rumour."

But the National Party has denied having anything to do with the false allegations.

"As Leader I've repeatedly made my expectations very clear - National MPs will not be involved in peddling rumours or innuendo," Opposition leader Simon Bridges said.

"It is my expectation that they will be conscious of their dealings with media, and ensure they are above reproach."

In an unusual move, police released a statement to media saying Mr Gayford is not subject to any police inquiry and has never been charged.

"While in general we do not respond to enquiries which seek to confirm if individuals are under police investigation, on this occasion we can say that Mr Gayford is not and has not been the subject of any police inquiry, nor has he been charged in relation to any matter," police said.

Mr Harman says this police statement was "totally unprecedented".

"You can only look at these things from what you hear yourself," he says.

"Certainly the rumours about Clarke Gayford seemed to be everywhere. I've even had members of my family tell me with great assurance that they'd heard the rumours."

Watch the full interview with Richard Harman above.

The AM Show with Duncan Garner, Amanda Gillies and Mark Richardson, weekdays 6-9am on RadioLIVE and streaming live to the rova app on Android and iPhone.

Newshub.