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Judith Collins loses National leadership after Simon Bridges demotion scandal

Judith Collins has been ousted as the Leader of the National Party.

Judith Collins loses National leadership after Simon Bridges demotion scandal

Deputy Leader Shane Reti has reportedly been appointed the interim leader while the National Party decide who will take over the leadership.

Sharing the news on Twitter, Collins said “I am pleased to say that I am just the MP for Papakura again.

“It’s been a privilege to take over the leadership of @NZNationalParty during the worst of times and to do so for 16 months. It has taken huge stamina and resolve, & has been particularly difficult because of a variety of factors.

She continued: “I knew when I was confided in by a female colleague regarding her allegation of serious misconduct against a senior colleague, that I would likely lose the leadership by taking the matter so seriously. If I hadn’t, then I felt that I wouldn’t deserve the role.

“I didn’t ask for the allegation to be given to me. I am proud of the support I received from Dr Shane Reti, a man of principle, and I will continue to advocate, not only for Papakura, but for those who have no voice.

The announcement comes after Collins released a statement late last night, stripping MP Simon Bridges of his portfolios due to lewd comments he made in front of MP Jacqui Dean in 2017.

A crisis caucus meeting was held at 9 am in response to Collins’ shock decision.

Responding to the demotion this morning, Bridges said “what we saw yesterday was truly desperate stuff from Judith Collins. I think it shows that she’ll go to any length to hold on to her leadership of the National Party.

It is understood Bridges apologised to Dean for his comments at the time.

Before the caucus meeting, Collins said she felt confident in her leadership. “It’s a matter of principle. Every woman and every man should feel safe in their workplace. What is really important is that you don’t deal with allegations by sweeping them under the carpet.”

Many in the National Party expressed their shock about the announcement last night. National MP and Bridges’ brother-in-law Simon O’Connor, said “the way the leadership has dealt with this is beyond appalling.”

Collins became the leader of the National Party in July 2020.

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