David Parker says Trevor Mallard was right to withdraw trespass notices, Paul Goldsmith compares Speaker to 'cross between Jack Nicholson and King George III'

Attorney-General David Parker says Speaker Trevor Mallard was right to withdraw the trespass notices sent to former politicians. 

It comes after Mallard on Wednesday announced the five trespass notices, which were sent to former MPs including Winston Peters and Matt King, were being withdrawn after controversy erupted over the decision. 

Notices were sent out to recognisable people who attended the anti-vaccine mandate protest at Parliament earlier this year. Peters attended briefly one day in February, while King was there on two occasions. Throughout the occupation, the Speaker, police and MPs called for the rally to be disbanded.

Speaking with AM on Friday, David Parker admitted several Labour MPs were concerned by the trespass notices, including him. 

"He was right to change his mind. I think lots of MPs contacted Trevor and said, 'not sure you got this one right'. I was one of them," Parker said. 

When asked by AM co-host Ryan Bridge what Mallard's response was, Parker said he listened. 

"He listened to me and then he changed his mind the next day. He would say he delegated some of those decisions because he didn't want to make the decision on who was on the list.  "But he's [Mallard} responsible for the list and Winston Peters was on it, he shouldn't have been and he changed his mind within a day and he was right to do that."

National MP Paul Goldsmith, who was joining Parker on AM, said Mallard's behaviour has been a distraction to Parliament 

"He's been very erratic. He stood up in the house and said my power is absolute, he looked like a cross between Jack Nicholson and King George III. That's what we've had in this Parliament for a long time and it's been a distraction away from important issues."

Goldsmith's comments drew laughter from Parker and Bridge. 

Mallard has faced heavy criticism for the notices. But on Thursday, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said she still has confidence in the Speaker. 

"The experience that Parliament has had has been unprecedented and obviously there are issues in the aftermath of the occupation at Parliament to work through," she said.

"All parliamentary parties have a role to play in supporting that work, sharing their views, and ultimately coming to an outcome where we try to prevent it occuring in the future."

Ardern didn't answer whether she thought Mallard had made a mistake, but said the Speaker has since worked through two issues. 

"Basically, do you treat all present in the same way or how do you also make sure the response is proportionate. You can see he has taken action to try and ensure it has been proportionate."

She also took a jab at those calling for the Speaker to be removed. 

"What I would rather see is as political parties, us coming together in the aftermath of the occupation at Parliament to work through the solutions for the future to ensure we don't have an issue like that again rather than taking potshots with no confidence statements," Ardern said.

"I have been around Parliament and politics for a long time. I cannot name a time when Opposition parties haven't had a go at the Speaker."

ACT leader David Seymour told AM Early on Thursday it was time for Mallard to "move on", while National's shadow leader of the House, Chris Bishop, said the party has lost confidence in him. National has long wanted Mallard gone, proposing no-confidence motions before.