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Jami-Lee Ross' movements around National's office restricted

Author
Derek Cheng, NZ Herald,
Section
Politics,
Publish Date
Tuesday, 29 January 2019, 5:35PM
Botany MP Jami-Lee Ross will return to Parliament next month, but will not be able to access National MPs' offices. (Photo / Michael Craig)

The National Party has stepped up security to ensure that expelled MP Jami-Lee Ross will not have access to any of its offices in Parliament when he returns next month.

Restrictions that apply to most of its parliamentary offices will soon apply to all of its offices, meaning no one will have swipe card access unless authorised by the party.

The move comes two weeks before Ross is due to return to Parliament. Ross has been allocated an office in Bowen House, well away from National Party offices.

Currently the National Party controls who can access its offices on the second and third floor of Parliament House, but MPs and journalists are not restricted from entering a section of corridor on the ground floor that has access to National MPs' offices.

Extra security to the ground floor corridor has now been approved by Speaker Trevor Mallard.

It is understood the move is a response to concerns that were raised by National.

A spokesperson from the National Party referred all queries to Mallard, who declined to comment.

Mallard and the Parliamentary Service general manager are responsible for the welfare of all people working in the parliamentary complex.

The National caucus expelled Ross last year at the same time as he quit the party, citing a fallout with leader Simon Bridges and laying a complaint with police about the handling of a donation to the party.

In the ensuing days, Ross released conversations with Bridges that he had secretly recorded, was publicly accused by several women of intimidating and bullying behaviour - which he has denied - and was sectioned to the mental health facility at Middlemore Hospital after he contemplated killing himself.

Last week, Ross said that he was ready to return to Parliament, and that he wasn't after revenge, but wanted to serve the interests of those in his electorate.

 

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