No harassment complaints against Jami-Lee Ross, says Paula Bennett

The AM Show 17/10/2018

National Party deputy leader Paula Bennett says there have been no official complaints of harassment against rogue party MP Jami-Lee Ross.

On The AM Show, Ms Bennett said there were no complaints from any female MPs made against Mr Ross.

On Tuesday, Mr Ross slammed leader Simon Bridges and deputy leader Paula Bennett saying they accused him of harassing four women. He said their story changed over time.

Mr Ross said Bennett and Bridges approached him three weeks ago with harassment allegations. Following this, the MP said he suffered a mental breakdown and took leave. At the time, Mr Bridges described Mr Ross' need for leave as "embarrassing." He later apologised for using this term.

Mr Ross said the women had not approached their employer, Parliamentary Services, which further raised his suspicions about their authenticity. He said the "changing nature of the story made me think it was a bluff".

"My dramatic internal falling out with Simon Bridges is why I'm now the target of a campaign to push me out," Mr Ross said during a press conference on Tuesday.

However, Ms Bennett said there were no complaints of harassment from any female MPs.

On Tuesday, Ms Bennett told NZME the leadership team raised issues with Ross - but it wasn't about harassment.

"At no point was the matter of sexual harassment ever put to Jami-Lee Ross," Bennett told NZME.

"What was put to him was inappropriate behaviour that is unacceptable from a married Member of Parliament."

When asked whether she was concerned about the mental wellbeing of Mr Ross, Ms Bennett said she was "really concerned" about him.

The Botany MP has resigned from the National Party and Parliament and will now stand as an independent at an upcoming Botany by-election.

Watch the clip above.

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