New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern fires minister for ‘inappropriate relationship’ with former employee
“Not the Behavior I Expect”: Jacinda Ardern fires married immigration minister for his “improper relationship” with former employee
- New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has fired Minister Iain Lees-Galloway
- Married MP admitted he had an “inappropriate” relationship with a former employee
- Ms Ardern said he had shown a lack of judgment for 12 months
- Minister takes full responsibility for his actions and will not dispute the next elections
New Zealand Parliament has been rocked by his second political scandal within days of a cabinet minister being fired for an “inappropriate” relationship with a former employee.
The 12-month affair cost Iain Lees-Galloway his job as an immigration and labor minister after admitting that a consensual relationship had developed with an employee of one of the departments he headed.
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern told the minister on Tuesday evening that his position was “unsustainable”.
“The minister showed a lack of judgment over a period of 12 months. When entering into this relationship, he has opened up to an allegation of abuse of his office, “Ms Ardern told reporters on Wednesday.
Jacinda Ardern (left) fired Minister Iain Lees-Galloway (right) for an inappropriate relationship he had with a former employee who has since ended
“He has not modeled the behavior I expect as a minister responsible for setting a norm and culture in the workplace.”
“Because of his actions, I eventually lost faith in him as a minister.”
“Politics is a place where we must uphold standards and politicians must pay the price for their mistakes.”
41-year-old Lees-Galloway, a married father of three, has taken full responsibility for his actions and has announced that he will not contest the September elections.
Fired Minister Iain Lees-Galloway (photo with wife Clare) is a married father of three
He has also removed his social media accounts and online political profiles.
“I accept the Prime Minister’s decision and apologize. I have acted completely inappropriately in my position and cannot continue as a minister, ‘said Mr Lees-Galloway in a statement.
“I apologized to my family for abandoning me. Please appreciate their privacy.
“I also apologize to anyone who has been hurt by my actions.”
The minister’s relationship with the former staff member ended before the charges were broadcast.
The latest scandal to hit parliament comes two days after opposition member Andrew Falloon resigned from revelations he sent pornographic photos to young women.
New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern arrives at a press conference with Iain Lees-Galloway on July 6. He has since been fired as a minister
National leader Judith Collins anticipated Mr Lees-Galloway’s demise earlier on Wednesday, telling Network Three that she had received a tip on a Secretary of Labor the day before.
“I advised the Prime Minister and sent everyone who has that information directly to her,” said Collins.
“I’m not going to indulge in attacks on Labor on these things.”
Jacinda Arden (left) described the position of Iain Lees-Galloway (right) as untenable
The Prime Minister confirmed that Ms. Collins informed her on Tuesday afternoon of an email she received about Mr Lees-Galloway.
Ms. Collins told Ms. Ardern that she asked the person to report something directly to the Prime Minister’s office.
“My chief of staff then contacted the leader of the opposition office to provide contact information, if the correspondent asked,” Ms Ardern told reporters.
“Around 3:00 PM, my office received an email directly from a third party alleging that the minister had an inappropriate relationship with a former employee who worked at one of his agencies.”
Mr. Lees-Galloway was a Member of Parliament for Palmerston North in 2008 and has been a minister since 2017.
He was also vice president of the house for almost three years before being fired.
“I have acted completely improperly in my position and cannot continue as a minister,” said Iain Lees-Galloway (pictured July 6) in a statement