Rogue MP Dr Gaurav Sharma's suspension not a permanent fix, leaves 'skeleton rattling in the closet' - commentator

  • 17/08/2022

The suspension of Dr Gaurav Sharma hasn't resolved his claims of rampant bullying in the eyes of political commentators, leaving a "skeleton rattling in the closet" waiting to "burst open". 

Dr Sharma was booted from the Labour Party Caucus on Tuesday after Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said he broke the trust of his colleagues. 

The Hamilton West MP has accused parliamentarians of gaslighting him and claimed other MPs have also faced bullying. So far, the backbencher is yet to provide any evidence to substantiate his allegations.

Political commentator Trish Sherson told AM the ball now sits in Dr Sharma's court on whether he behaves or continues to speak out. 

"Sharma is now on the naughty step with the tape over his mouth, but at any moment he could rip that off and don't forget, the question for Gaurav Sharma now, is does he go forward or back?"

She added Dr Sharma can't do much in Parliament now apart from attending select committees, so the question is - will he decide to continue to go rogue?

"Does he take the Winston Peters option which happened in 1993 when Winston fell out with National, resigned from National Party, resigned from Parliament and actually went for a by-election himself?" 

Political commentator Lara Greaves told AM Labour wants to avoid a by-election because Dr Sharma's Hamilton West seat has historically been a National one. 

"That seat has been held by National since 2008 and that could be a really closely won race if not won by National and it could be quite embarrassing."

Sherson added Dr Sharma's suspension and the "let's wait until Christmas to see if he's behaved himself" approach isn't a permanent fix.

"It leaves a skeleton sort of rattling in the closet at any moment that door could burst open." 

Commentator Ben Thomas agrees, he told Newshub Live at 8pm it prolongs the issue providing a "continual plot line" to Dr Sharma's episode.

"It has this December sort of drop dead date for either fixing the relationship or then taking next steps when the suspension runs out."

Watch the full interview above.