Topics: Politics, Rereātea - Midday News

Ross disputes claims of leaking Bridges travel expenses

By Jessica Tyson

National Party Leader Simon Bridges’ claims Botany MP Jami-lee Ross leaked his travel expenses - but Ross has disputed the claims. 

At a press conference today Bridges announced that Ross allegedly leaked the travel expenses to the media via an anonymous text message.

“John Billington QC has independently assessed the investigation. It is his opinion that on the balance of probabilities the evidence establishes that Jami-lee Ross was the person who leaked the expenses and the sender of the text message,” said Bridges.

The leaked information in August revealed that Bridges spent more than $113,000 in taxpayer’s money on Crown limos and accommodation in the previous three months.

However, Ross has taken to Twitter in dispute to the claims.

“Later today Simon Bridges is going to attempt to pin his leak inquiry on me. He cannot find who the actual leak is, so is attempting to use contact with my local Police area commander, and a journalist that is a friend (not Tova), as evidence that I am somehow involved,” he wrote.

Ross says he and Bridges had a recent “falling-out”.

“When I started to become expendable, I confronted him with evidence that I had recorded him discussing with me unlawful activity that he was involved in. Working on his instruction, he asked me to do things with election donations that broke the law.”

Ross says the evidence led Bridges to “push him” to go on medical leave a few weeks ago.

“It was essentially an attempt to stop me from speaking publicly.  I now have a duty to speak publicly on these matters. I will do so in coming days.”

Bridges says tomorrow the investigation report will be presented at a meeting at a National Party caucus.

“The caucus will be asked to consider the matters including the membership of [Ross’] caucus.”