Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has dismissed Minister of Immigration, Ian Lees-Galloway after an allegation he had ‘inappropriate’ workplace relationship.
Lees-Galloway, who also was Minister for Workplace Relations and ACC, will step down as an MP at the next September election. He is the electorate MP for Palmerston North and has been in Parliament since 2008.
The information of his ‘inappropriate relationship’ with a person who had previously worked in his office, was provided to PM by National Party leader, Judith Collins.
“His position as a minister was untenable. The minister has shown a lack of judgement over a period of 12 months,” the PM said.
According to the PM, the relationship was consensual and the person was not in Lee-Galloway’s office, but worked in one of his agencies at the time.
In a brief statement released to the media, Lees-Galloway says he acted “completely inappropriately in my position and can not continue as a Minister”.
“I accept the Prime Minister’s decision and apologise absolutely. I have acted completely inappropriately in my position and can not continue as a Minister. I have apologised to my family for letting them down. Please appreciate their privacy. I also apologise to anyone who has been hurt by my actions.”
This comes close on the heels of the disgraced former National MP, Andrew Falloon’s dismissal for sending inappropriate messages to women.
After the dismissal of Lee-Galloway, Kris Faafoi will become Minister for Immigration, Carmel Sepuloni will take over Minister for ACC and Andrew Little will get additional portfolio of Workplace Relations and Safety.
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