9 Aug 2021

Todd Muller ditches National's caucus meetings

5:26 pm on 9 August 2021

National MP Todd Muller, who stood down as the party's leader after 53 days in the job heading into the last election, is no longer attending party caucus meetings.

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Todd Muller. Photo: RNZ / Samuel Rillstone

Muller, who has been an MP for Bay of Plenty for nine years, announced in June he would step down at the 2023 election.

He said it was to prioritise his health and family, but it was later revealed he was pressured to leave after anonymously badmouthing a colleague to the media.

Party leader Judith Collins has previously said Muller seeing out the remainder of his term in the role depended on the caucus.

She told RNZ at the National Party conference over the weekend that Muller would no longer be attending caucus meetings.

"Obviously, he's leaving at the next election. He will be voting with us, we will hold his proxy, he will attend select committees and he will do his speaking slots in the house," she said.

"He will not be attending caucus and that is something he has agreed to, in fact he wants that, and that is something that the caucus is happy with."

Muller is set to return from leave near the end of August. He had taken five weeks of leave to care for his wife after surgery and at the end of July extended that by a further three weeks to continue to care for her.

Collins promised at the National Party conference the caucus was unified and up to the task of contesting the next election.

The National Party conference also saw former Speaker and MP David Carter resign from the party's board after he failed to wrest the role of President from Peter Goodfellow.

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