Prime Minister Caught On “Hot Mic”

( The opposition party leader received an apology from New Zealand’s prime minister after a microphone caught her disparaging him in a parliamentary debate.

The opposition leader David Seymour asked the prime minister for an example of her making a mistake, properly apologizing for it, and fixing it. The prime minister responded by calling Seymour an “arrogant p——.”

In her response, Ardern acknowledged the challenges posed by her administration’s “managed isolation” plan for COVID-19; however, as she sat down, she referred to Seymour as “such an arrogant p——” and the microphones picked up the remark.

Seymour asked the speaker to order the prime minister to retract the remark and issue an apology. Since Ardern had already left the chamber when the request was made, the house speaker declined it. It was also unclear whether the comment was captured by the Hansard team in its official record of parliamentary proceedings.

Ardern’s apology was confirmed by a spokesperson for the prime minister to reporters, but Seymour mocked it by telling the media that “some days I am a useless Mori, other days I am an arrogant p——.”

The aforementioned remark was about a previous attack on Seymour, the leader of the Association of Consumers and Taxpayers (ACT) Party, in which Mori Development Minister Willie Jackson called Seymour a “useless advocate,” according to the New Zealand Herald.

Seymour, who is of Mori ancestry, had proposed dissolving the Office of Mori Crown Relations and the Ministry of Mori Development. He argued that the ministry had failed to defend its spending plan and outline the “value” it offered for its $71 million price tag.

According to the BBC, Ardern, and Seymour have argued over budget proposals as the current Labour government has seen its popularity ratings decline over the past year.

After losing support to the opposition National party earlier this year, the Labour Party saw a decline in support at the end of the previous year. Seymour’s ACT party is in third place behind the National and Labour parties.

According to Ardern, her party “always made decisions that we believe to be in the best interests of New Zealand at the time,” She defended its actions and response.