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Judith Collins loses National leadership

Judith Collins loses National leadership

Posted November 25, 2021
Government

Judith Collins has been voted out as National’s leader after the party was locked in a caucus for more than three hours.

She has borne the brunt of a backlash to her sudden demotion of Simon Bridges last night due to a comment he made five years ago.

Last night Judith Collins said the decision followed an allegation of serious misconduct relating to Simon Bridges’ interaction with a caucus colleague.

“Having been made aware of the seriousness of the complaint for the first time and the ongoing distress this has caused the complainant, I was left with no option but to immediately demote Simon Bridges and relieve him of his portfolio responsibilities.

Under my leadership, the National Party will not tolerate harassment and intimidation of any person.

Members of Parliament and staff should be able to conduct their duties at all times without feeling unsafe or intimidated, and all deserve to be treated with absolute respect by their colleagues in all situations,” Judith Collins stated.

Jacqui Dean, the MP at the centre of the storm that broke out last night, released a statement this afternoon:

About five years ago, Simon Bridges made remarks that upset me at the time. They were not about me, but they were inappropriate and not something I wanted to hear, National MP for Waitaki Jacqui Dean says.

“At the time there was an apology, but subsequently it has continued to play on my mind and with the recent reviews that have occurred in Parliament the feelings have been brought back up.

“What matters to me is that all of us have a clear understanding of what behaviour we should expect in a modern workplace environment.

“Simon and I have spoken a number of times over the past few hours and he has reiterated his apology.

“As I’m sure can be appreciated, the publicity around this has been upsetting and I ask that my privacy is respected on this.”

Dr Shane Reti has been confirmed as the National Party’s new interim leader.

Photo: National Party NZ