Suspended Labour MP Gaurav Sharma faces possible expulsion from the Labour Party for continuing to publicly attack the party leadership.
Sharma, who has attacked Labour in the past week over claims of bullying, renewed his criticism of the party on Thursday, telling Newshub that Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern was engaged in a “cover up”.
The Hamilton West MP was suspended by Labour on Tuesday by the party’s MPs, who held a caucus meeting he did not attend.
But Ardern later confirmed, as Sharma alleged, that MPs held an undisclosed meeting the night prior that he was not invited to.
“It’s a kangaroo court, it’s a banana republic. The decision was already made the night before,” Sharma told Newshub.
The fresh criticisms of the party are the first public comments Sharma has made since his suspension on Tuesday, after days of litigating his allegations in public.
He has not spoken to the Labour leadership about the suspension.
Ardern on Tuesday said Sharma was being asked by the party to engage in mediation, and that he could face expulsion from the party if he continued to bring it into disrepute.
Sharma, in the interview with Newshub, produced a claimed recording of a fellow a Labour MP recounting the Monday night meeting he was not invited to attend.
A spokesperson for Ardern, in a statement on Thursday evening, said Sharma had been suspended “on the basis of repeated breached of trust” and the party caucus would again consider his actions.
“This latest example of releasing and misrepresenting conversations with his colleague’s reinforces that decision and will be discussed by caucus.
“We anticipated Gaurav would continue to re-litigating matters in this way. He has still not responded to our communications about entering into mediation, instead using the media to make his points.”
Sharma’s allegations in the past week have centred on claims he had been bullied by the Labour Party whips, Parliamentary Service, and the prime minister’s office.
Ardern has denied there has been such bullying, saying more than one of Sharma’s former staffers had complained about him and the party had “intervened”.
Sharma was said to be unhappy with the intervention, which included “performance management” and a hiring freeze on his office.