Jacinda Ardern’s husband Clarke Gayford slams trolls for online abuse: New Zealand

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Jacinda Arden’s TV star husband rages at trolls who abused his wife as he paid gushing tribute to ex-New Zealand leader – and claims his resignation left strangers in tears

  • Ms Ardern suffered despicable abuse as Prime Minister
  • His fiancée said online abuse came from ‘the loudest dregs’
  • Attacks on Ms Ardern were often centered on Covid lockdowns

Jacinda Ardern’s partner has slammed trolls who subjected her to vile abuse during her five and a half years as Prime Minister of New Zealand.

Clarke Gayford said Ms Ardern’s shock resignation last week brought strangers to tears and online abuse came from the ‘loudest dregs’.

Hailed by progressives in New Zealand and around the world, she received near universal praise for her leadership, especially in the aftermath of the Christchurch massacre in 2019.

But his reputation began to deteriorate among many Kiwis when the Covid pandemic hit in early 2020, as it imposed very strict confinement measures and closed the country’s borders, leaving citizens around the world stranded.

Jacinda Ardern, right, kisses her fiancée Clark Gayford after announcing her resignation as Prime Minister of New Zealand on Thursday January 19, 2023

On Wednesday, Jacinda Ardern's partner posted a social media post (pictured) calling out online trolls

Jacinda Ardern’s partner (pictured) posted a social media post on Wednesday calling online trolls ‘loud dregs’

There were constant protests outside parliament in Wellington, which at times turned violent, and a huge amount of online abuse and threats.

There were also accusations that when their daughter Neve was born, Ms Ardern had become a ‘part-time PM’.

When she came to power, her fiancé was also the subject of false rumors that he was under police investigation or due to appear in court.

They have become so common that in 2018 New Zealand Police issued a statement saying he “is and has not been the subject of any police investigation, and has not been charged with any offences.” ‘no business’.

In July 2022, he won a settlement against a New Zealand radio network over comments made on a podcast that were described as “prejudicial and untrue”.

Mr Gayford, who works in TV production, wrote on Wednesday about ‘the speech we’ve seen in ugly places online and via some type of public commentator’.

He quoted a Maori elder explaining how these people came to prominence.

“When you unplug the tub, it’s always the last dreg that makes the most noise.”

Jacinda Ardern (left) is pictured with her fiancée Clarke Gayford and their daughter Neve.  After Neve was born, Ms Ardern was accused of being a

Jacinda Ardern (left) is pictured with her fiancée Clarke Gayford and their daughter Neve. After Neve was born, Ms Ardern was accused of being a ‘part-time prime minister’

Despite the constant attacks from trolls, Mr Gayford said there had also been ‘the most incredible outpouring of thanks and respect’.

It ranged “from spontaneous tears from strangers at airports to correspondence staff talking about unprecedented inboxes filled with overwhelmingly positive messages,” he said.

Mr Gayford also wrote about how Ms Ardern had always tried to understand other people’s perspectives on situations.

“There is a saying that nothing is more difficult than having genuine empathy for others, because empathy forces you to understand life from someone else’s point of view, to suspend your own ego, walking in different shoes and seeing through another’s eyes.”

Mr Gayford said he remained

Mr Gayford said he remained ‘intimidated, in love, relieved, exhausted and incredibly proud of Neve’s mother’s superhuman efforts’ (Ms Ardern pictured)

He said some politicians “take the sugar road to popularity … and avoid unpopular but necessary decisions”.

“(But) there is a better, much tougher way to rule with empathy that plants many quiet trees so we can all enjoy the shade for many good years to come.”

Mr Gayford said he remained ‘admiring, in love, relieved, exhausted and incredibly proud of Neve’s mother’s superhuman efforts’.

He ended his statement with “First Bloke out”, using the name he had often been jokingly called since Ms Ardern became prime minister in 2017.