National leader Simon Bridges has admitted 'liking' a social media post by Whaleoil blogger Cameron Slater in which the Prime Minister's partner was mocked.

But Bridges said he did it by accident and then withdrew the "like" he had placed on Slater's Twitter account.

He said "too much tweeting maketh a twat".

It comes in the wake of Bridges attempting to distance the National Party from gossip mongering over Clarke Gayford, and just over a week after he told his MPs to have nothing to do with the rumours.


Police commissioner Mike Bush issued a press release last week in which he effectively killed the whispering campaign again Gayford, Jacinda Ardern's partner.

Ardern described the campaign as "dirty politics", which drew allusions to the 2014 Dirty Politics book which alleged to show the Prime Minister's office at the time used Slater and other bloggers to attack opponents on the internet.

Bridges blamed a thumb error for accidentally hitting the "like" button on Slater's post and that it was done while scrolling through his Twitter feed.

It had the effect of broadcasting Slater's tweet, in which a photoshopped image of Gayford holding a fish was depicted. Slater started running a "Fish of the Day" feature making fun of Gayford immediately after the rumours were dismissed.

Bridges said:"I'm not on Twitter very often and I think this shows why. Effectively I was scrolling down and I saw a tweet there that you're referring to.

"I noticed it. I accidentally liked it. I got rid of that within literally a second and kept on moving but I'm regretful about it actually because I've been really clear with my caucus colleagues that we don't want families brought in to politics.

"We know the things in relation to the Prime Minister's partner are untrue. So albeit it was accidental I'm regretful but it goes to show too much tweeting maketh a twat."

Bridges said he was unsure whether he saw Slater's tweet because he was following the account although added that he followed "political activists" across the spectrum.


He said he would apologise to Gayford if necessary but regretted the incident.

"I made really clear to my colleagues my expectations around politics around not peddling innuendo or rumours. As I say this was an accident."

Slater has denied having anything to do with pushing the Gayford rumours. He is being approached for comment.