Simon Bridges, Iain Lees-Galloway in morning Twitter scrap over drink-driver residency

Simon Bridges attacked Iain Lees-Galloway over Twitter and the Immigration Minister had no problem firing back. 

The spat concerned Lees-Galloway granting residency to someone with six drink-driving convictions, which Newshub revealed on Tuesday. 

On Wednesday morning Bridges tweeted that the Minister "needs to front media interviews" about the decision, accusing him of "selectively leaking" information rather than face questioning. 

"If he can put some information out he has a duty to put it all out," he said, seemingly daring Lees-Galloway to leak government information. 

Lees-Galloway hit back at what he called "more fake news", saying his appearance on Mike Hosking's breakfast show as well as his media appearances on Tuesday proved he was fronting adequately. 

"Simon's barking at every passing car as usual."

Bridges doubled down on his dare: "If you can selectively leak some of the file, you have a duty to make it all public."

The public dispute then dialled up a notch, with Lees-Galloway expressing frustration with Bridges' criticism. 

"Make up your mind, man!!" he wrote effusively. "What's your attack line here? Is it that I need to front the media (which I have) or is it that I should break the law (which I won’t no matter how much you insist on it). 

"Or, once those two lines have failed will you try something else?"

Bridges then accused Lees-Galloway of leaking certain details of a file to RNZ. In an interview with Morning Report, the Minister denied the allegations and said Bridges was "all over the place". 

While Lees-Galloway did grant residency to someone with six drink driving convictions and two convictions for driving without a licence, he was limited in what he could do as the individual is a 'protected person' for whom deportation was not an option.

While the National Party has heavily criticised Lees-Galloway, the individual was granted a temporary work visa by Michael Woodhouse under the previous Government, which was renewed in 2016. 


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