25 Nov 2021

Judith Collins removed as National Party leader

3:38 pm on 25 November 2021

Dr Shane Reti is interim leader of the National Party after Judith Collins lost a no-confidence vote.

Simon Bridges was demoted and stripped of all portfolios over allegations of an inappropriate comment made five years ago at a party function.

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

Collins confirmed the news on her Twitter feed.

She said she would stand in the next election.

Reti is currently interim leader, with the next National Party leader to be chosen on Tuesday.

At a media briefing, he praised Collins' "valuable service to the party", adding that there was "always a sadness" when leaders are replaced.

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Shane Reti listens for questions from journalists at the briefing. Photo: RNZ / Samuel Rillstone

Reti said the party now needs to "get up and lift our eyes to the horizon and get on with our work" of choosing the new leader.

"We are in the middle of a pandemic, we want to be bringing new thinking to the room, new thoughts, and that's going to be our focus under our new leadership team on Tuesday."

Meanwhile, Bridges said the comments he made to Waitaki MP Jacqui Dean were "inappropriate".

He said he apologised at the time and has apologised again since.

However, he said Collins made a mistake in issuing the press release last night.

He also said he may stand again for the leadership, and will reach a decision in the next couple of days.

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