NZ Election 2020: MPs insist they're squeaky clean after week of scandals

A few high-profile MPs have said there are no skeletons in their closet waiting to be discovered.

It's been a week of scandal in Parliament, with National's Andrew Falloon resigning after sending alleged pornographic images to a young woman and Labour's Iain-Lees Galloway losing his ministerial roles after admitting an affair with a staff member.

Labour's Phil Twyford, ranked fourth on the party's list this year, shook his head when Newshub Nation host Simon Shepherd asked if he had anything to hide on Saturday morning.

"No. I don't believe so."

Green Party co-leaders James Shaw and Marama Davidson went a step further, saying they don't know of any indiscretions in their entire caucus.

"As far as we are aware, we don't have any issues with our MPs," said Davidson. "But were we to hear of anything, we would take the proper steps - making sure that the wellbeing of all staff and people involved is put first." 

Speaker Trevor Mallard has drawn up a code of conduct for MPs, threatening to name-and-shame any who break it. 

"For very serious offenders and for people who don't learn the lesson the first time around, there is an obligation to make it transparent. I feel that I am almost involved in covering up bad behaviour when I'm involved in repeated complaints about the same MPs."

Shaw and Davidson.
Shaw and Davidson. Photo credit: Newshub Nation

Labour, National and the Greens have all said they'll sign up to it, while ACT's David Seymour has suggested voters "know better than MPs what constitutes good behaviour".

Twyford said Parliament is "not perfect".

"It's made up of human beings with all of the frailties you would expect from a House of Representatives - that's who we are. I think we're not perfect, but we are moving and we are improving. 

"I support the comments that the Speaker made this week about the need for us to be serious about lifting our game and being more accountable... We owe a duty of trust to the public and we have to lift our game." 

Phil Twyford.
Phil Twyford. Photo credit: Newshub Nation

More women have since made allegations against Falloon, which police are investigating. Lees-Galloway will not stand at the election, his political career all but over.

Davidson said it was important not to conflate the seriousness of Falloon and Lees-Galloway's mistakes. While she acknowledged an "impower balance" in Lees-Galloway's affair, it was consensual "as far as we know".

 An investigation is underway into whether he improperly used public funds during the affair.

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