'Merv from Manurewa' aka Roger Bridge resigns from National Party board

Roger Bridge, aka 'Merv from Manurewa', has resigned from the National Party board.

Newshub revealed on Monday allegations that party power player Bridge called talkback radio close to midnight last week pretending to be someone he wasn't, to undermine one of his party's own candidates. 

In a statement on Friday afternoon, National president Peter Goodfellow confirmed Bridge had resigned.

"The National Party Board was first made aware of allegations about Mr Bridge during a Newshub news segment.

"Since that time, the National Party Board have thoroughly investigated and discussed the matter.

"At a meeting of the board on Thursday evening, Mr Bridge tendered his resignation and we have accepted it."

It was the most recent and most bizarre chapter in the National Party's seemingly endless infighting.

'Merv' called into Marcus Lush's talkback show on Monday the 3rd of August just before midnight.

"Look I'm in Manurewa and I'm a bit confused because there's billboards all over the place with this Nuwi girl," 'Merv' told the talkback radio show. 

'Merv' was confused that Nuwanthie 'Nuwi' Samarakone was National's Manurewa candidate but was also pitching to stand in Auckland Central to replace Nikki Kaye who resigned from politics last month. 

"She's already standing in Manurewa and I was ready to vote for her but now I understand she's going over to Auckland Central - I'm that confused." 

He was seeding doubt about her candidacy and casually dropped in a line about a photograph.

"I'm that confused and then I have this photograph come through today." 

An image of Somarakone in a leotard had been doing the rounds on social media, as well as false rumours that she was a stripper, thought to be part of a smear campaign headed by some in National - her own party - who didn't back her. 

Newshub approached Bridge outside Parliament and he insisted it wasn't him who called up Marcus Lush's show and pretended to be 'Merv'. 

"Sorry, Merv? No. Roger Bridge," he said, when asked if 'Merv' is his alter ego.

"It wasn't me."

But although Bridge denies it was him, several National Party sources, including MPs, listened to the audio and told Newshub 'Merv' and Roger Bridge are one and the same. 

Newshub later discovered that Merv's talkback call came from Bridge's number. 

National Party leader Judith Collins reprimanded Bridge earlier this week

"It's not what we would do, it's not something I approve of and it's a matter for the party to deal with," she said on Tuesday. "Look, it's not something I agree with."