OPINION: Parliament descended into farcical scenes on Tuesday night - of which I have never witnessed before.
Speaker Trevor Mallard, Parliament's most highly ranked official who is meant to be above and beyond reproach and a judge of the rules, took to the floor to double down on his claims of sexual assault against a former Parliamentary staff member.
This is extraordinary because Mallard's initial claim of rape in 2019 didn't stack up, and ended up costing taxpayers $300,000 in a payout to the staffer falsely accused and the staffer was forced to quit his job.
Mallard's playing the game the only way he knows how; a brutal, confrontational approach - basically re-accusing the man of sexual assault.
I have never seen a Speaker take the floor of Parliament like that and use his privileged position like that to settle a score.
And he has legal immunity too by saying it inside the chamber.
It really is bully boy stuff - Mallard was acting like a maverick Opposition MP seeking revenge. National's Chris Bishop says he's unfit for the job.
In the 26 years I have followed and reported on Parliament, I never saw a Speaker stoop to this hit-man approach.
Only Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern can control that - I can't imagine Ardern is impressed.
But Mallard won't walk away - Ardern will have to move him on and that would require Labour MPs to vote with National and against Mallard.
No chance - the most Ardern will do is have a quiet word in his ear.
Parliament stands on a knife-edge.
Duncan Garner hosts The AM Show.