Ardern’s ‘Faux pas’ insult raises $63,000 for charity

A signed transcript of a parliamentary exchange in which New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern called a political rival an “arrogant brat” raised more than $63,000 for charity when bidding closed in an online auction on Thursday .

“Can’t say I expected this,” Ardern posted on social media after what she described as her “misstep with the old microphone in parliament” raised the sum for the Nova Prostate Cancer Foundation Zealand

A microphone captured the New Zealand prime minister muttering the insult, aimed at political opponent David Seymour, after a heated exchange between the pair during a parliamentary session last week.

An exasperated Ardern was heard saying “he’s such an arrogant idiot” as he returned to his seat after answering a pointed question from right-wing Liberal ACT leader Seymour.

Seymour asked the speaker of New Zealand’s parliament to demand an apology from Ardern, which meant her comment was recorded in the official record, known as Hansard.

Seymour came up with the idea of ​​joining forces for a good cause and they both signed a copy of the transcript which was framed before it was auctioned.

“The interest was greater than anyone had dreamed,” Seymour said in a statement, after telling AFP he only expected the transcript to fetch a fraction of the winning bid of NZ$100,100 ( $63,200).

Ardern also “thanked everyone who bid” and praised Seymour for being “a good sport”, a compliment the ACT leader reciprocated.

“When I suggested this to him, he immediately agreed,” Seymour said.

“I have been amazed at the kindness of the bidders who are helping fists everywhere with their generosity,” he added.

© 2022 AFP

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