Former independent MP's advice for Jami-Lee Ross

Former independent MP Brendan Horan has advice for former National MP Jami-Lee Ross following his announcement on Friday that he will remain as an independent MP. 

Ross was reportedly released from mental health care earlier this week but has yet to return to parliament.

If and when Ross returns to parliament, Horan says it won't be easy.

"I think it will be nigh on impossible for Jami-Lee Ross because he can't be in parliament 24/7 and National certainly won't be taking proxy votes from him.  So I struggle to see how he will survive as an independent MP."

Horan knows firsthand what it's like to be sidelined from a party after his former leader Winston Peters expelled him from NZ First in 2012. 

Horan was accused of siphoning money from his dying mother but remained as an independent MP.

"At first nobody would talk to me, it was extremely difficult but then when they realised that I was clear of the trumped-up charges they were trying to throw at me I ended up effecting a lot legislative changes."

Last week Ross declared that he planned to “expose serious flaws within the National Party” after allegations against him got personal, harming his chances for a by-election in his Botany electorate.

Horan says, "Your role is to keep the government to account and to be strong, robust opposition.”

“If Jami-Lee Ross is going to do that then I would support him being there.  But if he's just staying there as some sort of personal vendetta then he needs to get out.”

Independent MPs may well be a thing of the past with NZ First's Electoral (Integrity) Amendment or ‘waka jumping’ bill which gives party leaders- with the support of their caucus- the power to push rebel MPs from parliament.  It's a bill the National Party vehemently opposed.

Horan says, "I can't see the National Party eliminating Jami-Lee Ross from parliament.  I think the people of NZ will do that at the next election by themselves."

National leader Simon Bridges says Ross is no longer his problem.