Wellington: New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern removed her senior cabinet minister Iain Lees-Galloway from her cabinet due to an affair with a former employee. This decision has been taken at a time when the eyes of the ministers have become more vigilant due to the general elections in September. Ian Lees-Galloway was the Minister of Immigrant Affairs of New Zealand. As soon as the PM came to know about him that he had an affair with a former employee of a government organization that came under his department, the PM removed him from the post.
PM Ardern told the media that, Ian Lees-Galloway’s post was that of a minister, he could not be saved because his role was that of a controller in the behavior of employees and relationships at the workplace. According to the news agency AFP, Ardern said, “In the last 12 months, the minister has shown that he was lacking in judgment, because of this relationship, he has given rise to allegations of misuse of his own office.”
The PM said that she is not giving any moral judgment on Lees-Galloway. At the same time, “He did not keep in his practice the ideals I expected him as a minister, the minister is in charge of setting a culture and scale on the workplace.”
The PM said that she wants to improve the parliamentary culture, so that she can gain public confidence. Investigations have also been ordered to find out if Ian Lees-Galloway used taxpayer money for the affair.
According to the agency’s report, news of the minister’s affair with the former employee was reported to the PM Ardern’s office by Leader of Opposition Judith Collins, who appealed to the public to question the PM on allegations related to this objectionable, unparliamentary behavior. Ian Lees-Galloway, married and father of 3 children, has issued a small statement admitting that he has behaved ‘completely inappropriate’, and has also apologized for degrading his family.