New Zealand's Prime Minister: Jacinda Ardern vulgarly insults political opponents - and the microphone is still on

Jacinda Ardern has been Prime Minister of New Zealand for five years and is actually known for her calm and level-headed manner.

New Zealand's Prime Minister: Jacinda Ardern vulgarly insults political opponents - and the microphone is still on

Jacinda Ardern has been Prime Minister of New Zealand for five years and is actually known for her calm and level-headed manner. But during Question Time in Parliament on Tuesday, the leader of the New Zealand Labor Party lost her composure for a brief moment - and was caught doing so.

In the heated debate, ACT leader David Seymour bombarded Ardern with questions about her government's record for around seven minutes. At the end of his attack, he asked the Prime Minister if she "could give an example of how she made a mistake, apologized for it and corrected it," as reported by the Australian newspaper The Sydney Morning Herald, among others.

In her response to the question, Ardern replied that her government had acknowledged several times that her policies in dealing with the corona pandemic had been difficult for the public in some respects and that there were things that she would do differently from today's perspective. At the same time, the 42-year-old emphasized that she stood by the work that the government had done in the last electoral term.

After her reply to Seymour, Ardern sat back in her seat and muttered, "He's such an arrogant prick!". Deputy Prime Minister Grant Robertson, sitting next to her, apparently heard this and confirmed: "That's him".

What neither of them knew was that Ardern's microphone was still on at the time and the insults could just be heard while Adrian Rurawhe, the Speaker of the House, who is leading the debates, called for the next question.

According to the British "Guardian", Seymour later petitioned Rurawhe for Ardern to retract her insult and apologize, but the parliamentary speaker refused because the prime minister was no longer present in plenary at the time and he did not notice whether the remark was noted in the official record.

"I am absolutely shocked and amazed at your use of language," the Associated Press news agency quoted Seymour after the incident. "It's very unlike Jacinda and I've known her personally for 11 years."

Ardern has since apologized to the ACT boss: "Jacinda Ardern texted me and said, 'I'm sorry. I shouldn't have said that,'" Seymour reportedly said. "She said: 'As my mother likes to say, if you don't have anything nice to say, don't say it.'" He agrees with her in this opinion, "and as far as I'm concerned, everything is fine again," he said Opposition politicians forgiving. "I just said, 'Thank you and have a Merry Christmas'. Ultimately, it's not the end of the world."

Quellen: "The Sydney Morning Herald", "The Guardian", Associated Press

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