National leadership spat: Paula Bennett rubbishes Matthew Hooton's 'utter disaster' after barb over 'no policy'

Blood is being spilt on social media after former National leader Todd Muller's right-hand man Matthew Hooton thrust the knife into the previous leadership.

Following the defenestration of Simon Bridges and Paula Bennett, commentator and lobbyist Hooton was hired by Muller to work in his office. He subsequently quit after current leader Judith Collins came to power.

Now Hooton has struck out on social media, taking aim at the leadership handover from Bridges to Muller in an attack that's exposing National's internal wounds all over again.

"When Nats' deputy leadership changed in May, there was no policy, no benchmark polling, no campaign themes, no campaign grid and the Curia track polls were worse than any public poll this year," he tweeted.

"However the election turns out, Judith has done better than what would have happened."

But Bridges' former deputy Bennett responded with a scathing message to Hooton.

"Bullshit. It just wasn't shared with you," she tweeted in response. "You don't get to try and deflect from your utter disaster."

Muller's leadership melted down as he lurched from faux pas to faux pas. Internal polls showed him doing worse than Bridges, and he began suffering panic attacks as his caucus leaked against him. After he stepped down, Collins took power.

The chaos is manna from heaven for Labour, which is dubbing National a party in chaos.

"Strong. Team." mocked Grant Robertson.

"Stunning how unprepared National was for a campaign, let alone government, just months out from this election," added former Labour adviser Neale Jones.

"If true, this is an outrageous betrayal of the party. Even after David Shearer resigned, his team left detailed handover notes for David Cunliffe as incoming leader."