After losing two elections in a row you’d think Peter Goodfellow would have fallen on his sword in shame. He’s still there but now the Jake Bezzant fallout might finally have claimed his scalp:
Newshub understands the National Party leadership wanted Jake Bezzant gone during the election, but president Peter Goodfellow shut down concerns.
Opposition leader Judith Collins has broken her silence to address allegations against Jake Bezzant in an interview with Newshub, saying she wants National’s candidate selection process seriously tightened.
It comes as two women allege the disgraced former candidate impersonated them online in order to elicit sexual images from men. […]
The National Party has some fixing of its own to do, particularly to address its vetting process.
“Well, that’s one of the things that was part of the review and that is actually happening now so I fully support that,” Collins told Newshub.
Newshub understands concerns were raised about Bezzant during last year’s election campaign when questions were swirling around embellishments on his CV.
National’s campaign team came to the conclusion he should go.
“I think you’d need to take that back to the party president,” Collins said when asked about it. “It is not something I can really comment on because I was out campaigning, as you know.”
Newshub has been told party president Peter Goodfellow shut down the concerns, making it clear it was a party matter, not a campaign one.
“You’ll have to talk to the party about that,” Collins said. “He was selected well before I became the leader and I think too the party acknowledges and has acknowledged that they’re redoing the way that they vet.”
Newshub understands the leadership was very unhappy about it.
Goodfellow provided a statement to Newshub acknowledging some concerns were raised about Bezzant mid-last year.
“After Mr Bezzant’s selection as a candidate in 2019, some concerns were raised in mid-2020 solely relating to previous commercial business matters, and we thoroughly investigated them at the time when they were brought to our attention.
“This included questioning Mr Bezzant and talking to people involved in the business in question. We found insufficient evidence to substantiate the concerns raised, therefore considered the matter closed.”Newshub
Peter Goodfellow should resign. Any honourable person would do that. Most National Party Presidents would do that after a failure of such immense proportions, the only exception being Michelle Boag, who has no shame nor honour.
If he doesn’t go then focus is going to shift onto why it was that putative Auckland Mayoral candidate and former deputy leader Paula Bennett and her offsider Leigh Morrow were Jake Bezzant’s biggest promoters. Delegates at the upcoming National Party conference may wish to reflect on whether or not they want board representatives so tainted with promoting and protecting creepy Jake Bezzant.
Bezzant, meanwhile can dust off his old Aerosmith records:
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