BREAKING NEWS: Embattled minister Nick Smith calls news conference

Embattled ACC Minister Nick Smith has called a news conference at Parliament at 1.45 this afternoon, where it’s suspected he will step aside from his portfolio.

The move comes amid growing controversy over Smith’s conflict of interest in writing a letter of reference to his own department in support of a National party official seeking ACC payments.

It’s not known whether Smith will step down from cabinet entirely, or whether this is merely an attempt to pour water on the ACC fire in the hope that it doesn’t spread to his other portfolios.

His critics are likely to argue for a complete resignation on the grounds that flawed judgement is flawed judgement.