Outgoing National MP and former deputy leader Nikki Kaye says she never attempted to gag an MP over COVID-19 leaks.
Kaye confirmed to Newshub health spokesman Michael Woodhouse did have a press statement ready to go last Tuesday about receiving private COVID-19 patient details and concedes, "it probably could have gone out earlier".
It wasn't until Friday last week that National confirmed Woodhouse had received leaks from former National Party President Michelle Boag including those patient details.
But Kaye couldn't say whether former leader Todd Muller had put the brakes on Woodhouse going public.
When asked if the rationale for not putting the statement out last Thursday was because the leader's office didn't want it to overshadow Todd Muller's roads announcement, Kaye said, "I don't know the answer to that, you will have to ask others about that."
Kaye says she in no way, shape or form tried to stop Woodhouse putting out the statement but says she's not sure if Muller might have.
When Newshub asked if delaying the release of that critical information may have ultimately been behind Muller's reason for quitting the leadership Kaye said no, "I think Todd's stuff... He's been pretty fragile."