New Zealand’s Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has landed herself in some trouble after she was caught on a hot mic making a nasty comment towards her political rival.
The comment was targeted at David Seymour, the leader of the libertarian ACT party, after he threw some hardball questions at Ardern about her government’s record.
“He’s such an arrogant pr———,” the New Zealand prime minister can her heard saying moments after being questioned by Seymour for around seven minutes during Parliament’s Question Time, a format of open debate between political rivals.
Ardern, who is known to be calm and collected while debating, was flustered after the rounds of questions.
The audio of her comments could barely be heard, but the prime minister said it loud enough that it was picked up in the background by her desk microphone as House Speaker Adrian Rurawhe was talking.
Ardern’s office did not dispute that she made the comment, and members of her staff told the Associated Press that she has apologized to Seymour.
“I’m absolutely shocked and astonished at her use of language,” Seymour told the Associated Press.
Seymour, whose known Ardern personally for 11 years, called her comment “very out of character.”
The leader of the libertarian ACT party said it was ironic since he had been questioning the prime minister on if she’s ever admitted to making a mistake as leader of the country and then fixed it.
“She couldn’t give a single example of when she’s admitted she’s wrong and apologized,” Seymour said.
In a text message between the two, Seymour said that she “apologized” for her comment, stating, “as her mom said, if you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say it.”
Seymour accepted the prime minister’s apology and wished her a Merry Christmas.
Ardern, who served her first term as prime minister from 2017-2020, was reelected to a second term in a landslide victory in 2020.
Ardern has confirmed that she will be running for reelection in 2023, but recent polls have shown she and the liberal Labour Party face a tough election campaign ahead.
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