Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters gave a media response like no other today, playing the song Burning Bridges before heading into the House for Question Time.

Laughing as he spoke, Peters told the media to "listen up" as he put his phone up to the microphones to play the tune.

Burning Bridges was the theme song from the 1970 Clint Eastwood movie Kelly's Heroes, and was composed by the Mike Curb Congregation.

Between the chuckles he announced "here comes the punchline" as the chorus played.


The lyrics includes the lines, "All the burning bridges that have fallen after me, All the lonely feelings and the burning memories, Everyone I left behind each time I closed the door, Burning bridges lost forevermore."

Bridges fronted up to media this afternoon after former National MP Jami-Lee Ross levelled a range of accusations at the Opposition leader this morning.

These included allegations of electoral fraud, with Ross accusing Bridges of "falsifying the name of a donor to hide [their] identity."

Bridges denied these claims and said Ross was "lying, leaking and lashing out."

After Question Time, Peters said Bridges' reply to Ross' accusations "wasn't a response – it was pathetic."

"Have you ever seen somebody who has no qualities of leadership – so much so that he needed half of his front bench around him to [demonstrate] to you that he's a leader?"

Bridges was flanked by National MPs Amy Adams, Mark Mitchell, Judith Collins and Deputy Leader Paula Bennett during his press conference.

"He has never led anything," Peters said, of Bridges.


"He has never run a private business of his own; he has never been in charge of a fund to the extent that he will understand something about capitalism."

He said the reason he played the song was because he didn't rate Bridges' leadership.

Bridges studied law at Oxford and practised as a Crown prosecutor before being elected as an MP.

Earlier today National kicked "lone wolf" Jami-Lee Ross out of the party for his "appalling behaviour" – and said it would welcome a police inquiry into "baseless" corruption allegations.

Leader Simon Bridges said the party wanted to draw a line under the leak episode and be a united caucus going forward.

He rejected Ross calling him a "corrupt" politician who was not fit to be prime minister.

- additional reporting Jason Walls