National MPs support Simon Bridges, even though he wants them gone

Simon Bridges has pointed the gun at his own caucus - but those in the firing line aren't bothered.

Former National MP Jami-Lee Ross released a phone conversation with the National leader which he says proves his allegation of electoral fraud.

During the conversation, Mr Bridges suggests members of the party should leave to make way for new MPs.

"I reckon there's three of our MPs - not bringing up obvious ones like [Chris] Finlayson or [David] Carter - but actually we just want them to go," he said.

Mr Carter and Mr Finlayson have both spoken to media about the comments, Mr Carter saying he has no intention to leave.

He told Newshub he had met with Simon Bridges over the matter twice.

"He has encouraged me to remain as a member of his caucus because of my contribution and my mentoring role," he said.

"That's what I intend to do - I intend to complete this term as a National Member of Parliament."

Rather than being annoyed at Mr Bridges, Mr Carter is furious at Mr Ross' actions leaking the phone call.

"I've become more and more incensed by the minute, by the actions from a former parliamentary colleague, Mr Jami-Lee Ross," he said.

Jami-Lee Ross speaks to media on Tuesday.
Jami-Lee Ross speaks to media on Tuesday. Photo credit: Newshub.

Mr Finlayson said he's not concerned as he has one foot out the door already anyway.

"People who know me know what I've been up to over the last few months, they know that there are a few things I want to finish here, then I'm going back to the bar," he said.

Mr Finlayson said he is in the process of tying up loose ends before he leaves.

"I've been planning my exit for some time. What I've wanted to do is finish the work I've been doing on the Crown-Māori relationship, finish the work on the law of contempt - that particularly interests me."

'F**king usless' Pugh stands by Bridges

Mr Bridges also called National Party West Coast list MP Maureen Pugh " f**king useless" in the tape. He said on Wednesday he had apologised to her and she accepted.

Ms Pugh said she was standing by her leader.

"I continue to back Simon and we'll both move on from this now," she said on Twitter on Wednesday.

But one of her constituents, Westland Mayor Bruce Smith, isn't happy.

"If I had to put money on her or Simon Bridges, I would put my money on Maureen [Pugh] because I believe she's a person of integrity," he said.

Mr Smith said it's unfortunate to hear the leader of the party use such terms, but Mr Bridges can't take it back.

"When the baby leaves the womb you can't put it back."

Newshub.

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