Jordan Williams broke down in tears this afternoon as his mother took the stand in the defamation trial against former Conservative Party leader Colin Craig.

The trial, now in its second week, resumed in the High Court at Auckland today.

This morning, the court heard how Conservative Party board members were told Craig allegedly sent a message containing the phrase "magic hands down your panties" to his former press secretary.

The jury, before Justice Sarah Katz, is tasked with deciding if Craig defamed Taxpayer's Union chief executive Williams at a press conference and in a pamphlet he produced and distributed to homes in 2015.


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Williams is a friend of Craig's former press secretary Rachel MacGregor. She confided in him about Craig's alleged inappropriate behaviour towards her.

After viewing some letters, Williams believed he had a "moral" duty to warn other members of the Conservative Party about Craig's actions. He met several members soon after and disclosed what he knew.

When Craig found out, he held a press conference at which he inferred Williams lied, and that he would be taking legal action against them for defamation.

At the same time, Craig released a leaflet titled Dirty Politics and Hidden Agendas, in which he named Williams and the other "culprits" spreading "false allegations" about him and taking part in a plot to damage his political career.

Williams strongly denied any wrongdoing and has launched his own civil action against Craig.

Last week, the jury was read letters and text messages sent to MacGregor by Craig, and was told how he allegedly tried to kiss her.

This afternoon, Williams broke down in tears as his mother, Megan, took the stand.

He left the court at one point as his mother spoke of his upbringing.

She appeared nervous and her voice cracked as she told the jury of the "nightmare" and fallout of Craig's pamphlet.

"Jordan had always been a political animal and everybody blames me for that because he was reared in a council chambers, because I was a councillor for the Hawke's Bay District Council and Hastings District Council."

She felt "absolutely sick and devastated" when she read Craig's brochure about her son.

"I had thought Colin Craig was a really nice person and couldn't understand why he would do this."

She raised him on her own in Hawke's Bay and worked hard to provide his education at state-integrated Lindisfarne College and to pay for university study overseas.

"It was all those years of Jordan working so hard and me working so hard, I could see it all going down the gurgler and it makes me so upset.

"It has really affected me. I wake up in the morning feeling sick because I spent the last 30 years of my life making sure my son has had the best opportunities and now someone, in one fell swoop, has taken that all away."

Colin Craig holds the booklet in which he allegedly defamed Tax Payers Union executive director Jordan Williams. Photo/Dean Purcell NZ Herald
Colin Craig holds the booklet in which he allegedly defamed Tax Payers Union executive director Jordan Williams. Photo/Dean Purcell NZ Herald

She said her son was respectful and had seen the way she struggled as a "woman in a man's world" in her own political career.

He wanted to help MacGregor for this reason, she said.

"I wish someone had stood up for me 30 years ago they way he stood up for Rachel."

She said she understood Craig was going to rely on statements about her son published in investigative journalist Nicky Hager's book Dirty Politics.

Hager published "stolen information" from her son's private emails and took the communications out of context, she said.

"It's the most unethical thing you can do," she said.

Craig's pamphlet was retaliation to her son telling people about MacGregor's claims, she said.

"All Jordan did was tell another person that Mr Craig was behaving in an unacceptable manner."

Under cross-examination, she said she was unaware he had also told a number of other people.

She also said that Hager's book had not harmed her son's reputation because the claims were false, but agreed he had not taken any legal action relating to those claims.