In an extraordinary piece of police sleuthing, the mystery of Parliament’s secret leaker has been solved.
Police say they know the name of the leaker, but they won’t say who.
This could have saved National Leader Simon Bridges a lot of searching and agonising.
But police say they won’t reveal the name of the person who leaked details of Mr Bridge’s mammoth travel expenses.
(this could, of course, save everyone, particularly the Nats, a huge amount of time).
Police instead said this:
‘Police were contacted on Friday 17 August by the National Party regarding concerns about the welfare of an individual.’
They headlined it this way.’Police respond to mental to health matter.’
They said: ‘Police met with the Leader of the National Party regarding those concerns that same day.
‘Police assessed the information supplied as a mental health issue requiring an immediate response.
‘The information provided by the National Party did not identify the individual however, their identity was established through subsequent police enquiries.
Steps were taken as they are for any matter reported to police where there are immediate concerns for the welfare of an individual.’
National Party advised
The police media release says National Party was advised that Police would not disclose the individual’s identity for privacy reasons.
‘Police have dealt with this matter entirely from a mental health perspective,’ Police say.
Police were aware that the Speaker of the New Zealand House of Representatives had announced an inquiry into the disclosure of information regarding the travel expenses of the National Party leader (the Speaker has since aborted this inquiry).
Police add: ‘Any requests for information by the inquiry to Police will be considered on the basis of privacy principles, and police may seek advice as required regarding such requests’.
Simon Bridge’s view
Bridges said last week police had not told him the person’s identity and he understood why this was the case.
The texter had claimed to be inside the National Party and had leaked Bridges’ expenses to punish him for being arrogant.
Bridges said he has not questioned members of his caucus about whether they sent the text.
Bridges says he believed he has the support of his colleagues and his main concern was for the wellbeing of the person who sent the text.
“I can’t think who it is … I feel strong support. Whether it’s a National MP … I hope we can find out.”