PM not answering questions about Sroubek case - Gerry Brownlee

The AM Show 06/12/2018

Senior National MP Gerry Brownlee has lashed out at media coverage of his party's Parliament walkout, but made a false claim in the process.

Most National MPs stormed out of the House on Wednesday after Mr Brownlee and leader Simon Bridges was ordered out by Speaker Trevor Mallard.

They had been questioning the Government on issues surrounding Czech drug importer Karel Sroubek, whose residency case has dominated headlines for weeks.

There are still a large number of questions that do need to be answered.

"What made the Speaker stand up so quickly to shut down the question being asked by Simon Bridges?" Mr Brownlee asked on The AM Show on Thursday morning.

"The reality is the Prime Minister was not answering questions about the Karel Sroubek situation. There are still a large number of questions that do need to be answered."

Mr Brownlee said he has been was disappointed in the media coverage of this week's goings-on in Parliament, including Speaker Trevor Mallard's "smart-arse" jab at Mr Bridges on Tuesday, and singled out Newshub in particular.

"The day before, where the Speaker used very colourful language to describe the leader of the Opposition - something I haven't heard in Parliament before from a Speaker - no reporting at all," Mr Brownlee falsely claimed.

Newshub did cover Mr Mallard's comments - on the day (Tuesday) and again on Wednesday, as part of coverage of the walkout.

The "very colourful language", and Mr Mallard's apology, were also reported on the day by NZME and TVNZ.

Mr Brownlee said it was "interesting" that Mr Mallard's quip came just days after launching an inquiry into Parliament's bullying culture.

"But look, I'm not here to criticise the Speaker because, under the arcane rules of Parliament, Speakers are not able to be criticised," he explained.

"It's a very tough job. I'm not here to criticise the Speaker. I am saying that it was a little odd that two days in a row, where there was tough questioning going to the Prime Minister, where the Prime Minister was not answering those questions, Mr Mallard shut it down."

As for the Sroubek case, Mr Brownlee said Associate Immigration Minister Kris Faafoi should take over the portfolio from Iain Lees-Galloway.

"Not my cup of tea politically, but a good bloke and very capable."

Watch the full interview with Gerry Brownlee 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.

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