'It's got personal': Paula Bennett says Speaker Mallard has personal vendetta

The National Party discussed whether to walk out of the House en masse on Thursday, as a protest against Speaker Trevor Mallard.

Things boiled over earlier in the day, with Deputy Leader of the Opposition Paula Bennett booted out of the House during a rowdy Question Time.

National MPs had been using Question Time to repeatedly question Mr Mallard's rulings, before jeering loudly over Government answers. Both those things are a regular occurrence during Question Time, but Thursday was particularly heated.

Ms Bennett says National had discussed walking out of Question Time as a group.

"I knew he would be gunning for me and thought he might throw me out given a chance. We decided against mass walk out today. Try and build a bridge first," Ms Bennett said on Twitter.

Ms Bennett told media she was disappointed after being thrown out.

"Yesterday I may have let the frustration get to me and I felt that I wanted to walk out. Today I really quite genuinely wanted to find a halfway point where we could get on with it because that is in everyone's interested," she said.

Ms Bennett said Mr Mallard is singling her out in a personal vendetta.

"When he's standing up and calling one of our members ridiculous and then a number of people, including me, said, "Well, yes, it is ridiculous ", and he singles me out, I just think at some level it's got personal for him."

Shadow Leader of the House Gerry Brownlee denied any deliberate goading of the Speaker on the part of the National Party.

"I think we went in in good faith, hoping to meet halfway," Ms Bennett added. "I don't think it's unreasonable for him to have addressed our letter that was actually serious concerns we have."

It's the last Question Time before Parliament rises for a short recess.


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