Jacinda Ardern, New Zealand’s Prime Minister, has made peace with rival David Seymour just in time for Christmas – auctioning off a signed Hansard page which recorded her calling him an “arrogant p****” for charity. The current highest bid on Trade Me, New Zealand’s largest online auction and classifieds website, is $100,000 – equal to just over £52,000, with the deadline scheduled for Thursday.
Ms Ardern, 42, found herself in hot water last week during question time in the Kiwi parliament, when she was recorded insulting her political rival during a hot mic incident.
The following day ACT New Zealand leader Mr Seymour was taunted by other MPs, much to his consternation. But by the weekend, the pair had apparently put aside their differences.
In what he described as a “very Kiwi resolution to what might be seen as a nasty incident”, Mr Seymour said: “In the spirit of Christmas, we are going to raise money for the Prostate Cancer Foundation, raising money for p** **with everywhere.”
Ms Ardern and Mr Seymour then signed the “one of a kind” transcript from the parliamentary proceedings.
Mr Seymour explained he “wanted to be able to say that ‘we’re helping p****s everywhere’ and the prostate is about as close as we could get”.
They apparently hit upon the idea at the parliament’s annual press gallery Christmas party, with Mr Seymour saying they “managed to have a laugh about hatching a plan to raise some money for a good cause”.
Mr. Seymour was less impressed when the news initially broke, saying: “I’m absolutely shocked and amazed at her use of language,” Mr. Seymour told the Associated Press.
“It’s very out of character for Jacinda, and I’ve personally known her for 11 years.”
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Ms Ardern is not the first world leader to be caught out by a hot mic gaffe.
In January, US President Joe Biden referred to Fox News’s Peter Doocy “a stupid son of ab****” when he was asked a question about inflation.
Twelve years ago, then-Labour Prime Minister Gordon Brown infamously referred to 65-year-old Gillian Duffy as a “bigoted woman” while campaigning in Rochdale prior to the 2010 general election.
The incident was widely seen as having damaged Mr Brown prior to a televised debate with Tory leader David Cameron and the Lib Dem’s Nick Clegg.