Finance Minister Grant Robertson is calling out National leader Simon Bridges for "politicising" the level 4 lockdown extension, saying his comments on small businesses are insulting.
This comes as his deputy leader, Paula Bennett, was forced to proactively say she supports Bridges as leader and deny any speculation of leadership unease within the party.
Speaking to Morning Report, Robertson also called out one of his own MPs, Deborah Russell, after her controversial comments about small businesses.
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"I said at the time I disagreed with Deborah Russell's comments, and I do," he said.
Robertson was also highly critical of Bridges for using the pain many small businesses were feeling as a way to score political points.
"I think Mr Bridges' response is the kind of politicising that doesn't do him many favours."
The National leader has said small businesses across the country have been the "sacrificial lamb" for the Government, after the alert level 4 lockdown was extended until midnight Monday.
He said the lockdown was extended because ministers didn't lay the necessary groundwork.
This, in turn, will lead to more small business pain, Bridges said.
In a Facebook post, Bridges faced an extraordinary amount of criticism for his, and the party's, position on the lockdown extension.
There has even been speculation the knives are out when it comes to his leadership.
This was denied by Bennett this morning.
"I get people are bored and looking for entertainment but false speculating on the leadership of the National Party has no factual basis."
Robertson said Bridges' comments on small businesses were insulting and pointed out that some of Bridges' own MPs have been supportive of the Government's moves.
Meanwhile, ACT leader David Seymour has called out Russell's comments regarding small businesses' level of resilience.
During the Epidemic Response Committee sitting yesterday, Russell downplayed the economic impact of Covid-19 on businesses.
"We are seeing businesses struggling after only a few weeks in a pretty bad situation, which must speak to the strength of those small businesses going into this lockdown."
She said she was worried that people had started a small business without understanding "how to survive a setback".
Robertson this morning agreed that Russell's response wasn't very reasonable and pointed out that he said that he disagreed with her in the committee meeting.
"I said at the time I disagreed with Deborah Russell's comments, and I do."