Does anyone actually believe the PM fired Iain Lees-Galloway over just an affair?
This affair's been known about for months down in Wellington. Even senior Labour MPs knew about it for months, and did nothing.
Unless there is more to this, it looks like he's been fired because the Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern was politically snookered. She couldn't do anything other than fire him because she had to match new National leader Judith Collins.
She gave Collins dirty information last week. Collins was decisive. Andrew Falloon lost his job.
So, tit for tat. Collins gave the PM dirty information yesterday. Ardern needed to look decisive too. She had to fire him.
She basically got snookered by a Collins power play.
If she didn't fire him, it would've dredged up all the other times the PM has failed to take action on poorly-performing or incompetent MPs. Clare Curran, David Clark, Phil Twyford.
This close to an election she can't be handing Collins the chance to bring that up all over again.
But putting aside the political necessity of the PM's move, on principle – even if it's just an excuse – firing someone over an affair is pretty low.
As long as it's legal, it's none of our business what MPs get up to in their private time.
This just opens an ugly can of worms even further doesn't it? After this and the Jami-Lee Ross affair allegations two years ago it seems we've turned a corner and accepted that smut can be used in national politics to tear down opponents.
There will be a few MPs pretty worried right now about the precedent this has set for their own careers.
I don't buy the PM's argument that Lees-Galloway used his office improperly, or that being Workplace Relations Minister made the affair any worse.
At the moment, they just look like political excuses for a political decision.