Green Party Member of Parliament in New Zealand issues an apology for accusing Prime Minister of lying about climate change action.

A controversial incident in the New Zealand Parliament occurred when Green Party MP Chloe Swarbrick accused Prime Minister Christopher Luxon of lying about the government’s actions on climate change. Swarbrick’s comment, while not a direct address to Luxon, was picked up by microphones in the Chamber during Question Time on Dec. 13. According to Standing Orders, which govern MPs’ behavior, making such a statement in parliament can lead to serious consequences for the accusing MP.

ACT leader David Seymour raised a point of order with Speaker Gerry Brownlee over Swarbrick’s accusation. While Brownlee had not heard the statement, he suggested Swarbrick “consider withdrawing and apologizing.” Swarbrick initially refused to do so, leading Brownlee to refer to previous speaker rulings that stating a member is lying is always out of order. Swarbrick defended her comment by stating that she was speaking to the content of the government’s policies and not directly calling the Prime Minister a liar.

After the exchange, Swarbrick appeared to acknowledge that she may face disciplinary action over her statement. She later made a personal explanation to parliament, expressing that her intention was not to make a personal reflection on the Prime Minister and apologized for any interpretation of her statement as such. Speaker Brownlee noted that others would make a judgment on the Hansard record eventually, leaving the situation unresolved at the time.

Despite being only the second Green MP to win an electorate seat, Swarbrick is widely regarded as one of the Greens’ better-performing MPs and a potential future leader. At 28, she is no longer the youngest MP in the House, as she was succeeded by Hana-Rawhiti Maipi-Clarke, who, at 21 years old, became the youngest MP in 170 years to enter New Zealand’s parliament.

It is important to note that calling an MP a liar in parliament is against the rules and can result in serious consequences for the accusing MP. This incident has caused a significant controversy and heated debate within the New Zealand Parliament, and it remains to be seen what further action, if any, will be taken regarding Swarbrick’s accusation against Prime Minister Luxon.


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