The bombshell revelation that Speaker Trevor Mallard’s defamation case could cost taxpayers even more than the $333,641.70 it has already is further evidence he must resign, National’s Shadow Leader of the House Chris Bishop says.
In select committee today it was revealed there is still an active complaint against Parliamentary Service stemming from the May 2019 comments by Mr Mallard that resulted in a public apology for ‘distress and humiliation’.
Mr Mallard also admitted he knew he had made a mistake within 24 hours, yet he did not put things right publicly until last week, costing taxpayers 333,641.70 in the process.
"Trevor Mallard has made what could be a million-dollar mistake,” Mr Bishop says. “He would have saved taxpayers a lot of money if he’d done the right thing and apologised at the time.
"People make mistakes but most people try to clear them up quickly once they know they’re wrong. They don't let things drag on for 17 months like Mr Mallard did.”
It was revealed today that the claim against Parliamentary Service has already cost taxpayers about $37,000 in legal fees, with a much higher sum likely if it is successful.
The National Party has lost confidence in Mr Mallard’s ability to administer Parliament over this issue and will move a motion of no confidence in him in the new year.
"The Speaker's job is to uphold the dignity of Parliament, and his actions have besmirched Parliament's good name,” Mr Bishop says.
“He made comments that have ruined a person’s life, but rather than apologise he chose to fight back and as late as July 2020 was trying to name the person publically.
"The Prime Minister and Labour caucus may want to sit back and reflect over the summer break on whether this is really the sort of person they want running Parliament."
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