Uffindell saga: Nat's president says selection process could be 'improved'

Source: 1News

The new president of the National Party admits the candidate selection process "could be further improved", amid the latest scandal to engulf the party.

Sam Uffindell

Sam Uffindell's the latest National Party MP or candidate to have allegations levelled at him.

In recent years, Southland MP Hamish Walker stood down after admitting leaking Covid-19 patient details, Rangitata MP Andrew Falloon resigned after allegations he send lewd images to several young women, and Jake Bezzant, a failed 2020 candidate, resigned from the party after it was alleged he had been posing as his ex-girlfriend online and sending inappropriate messages.

Uffindell has admitted taking part in a violent attack on a younger student which saw him asked to leave King's College when he was 16, and on Tuesday, was stood down after a former flatmate detailed allegations of his aggressive behaviour while they were at Otago University.

National's board and candidate selection panel were aware of Uffindell's removal from King's during the selection process for the Tauranga by-election, but it wasn't passed on to leader Christopher Luxon.

Sylvia Wood, elected party president at the weekend and who had been looking at the party's selection processes, said the selection of Uffindell "was run in accordance with the National Party rules, which require confidentiality".

"However, it is now clear that process could be further improved, and we are looking at how best to achieve that."