Collins gone: National seeks a new leader

National Party 25/11/2021

Simon Bridges "I engaged in some old wives tales about that, how to have a girl."

Simon Bridges spoke to reporters this afternoon about the comments he made to co-worker Jacqui Dean and other MPs at a function between 5 and 6 years ago.

Bridges admits that he was “clearly inappropriate” at the time.

Bill English was made aware of the comments and raised them with Bridges some time after the incident. Bridges apologised to both Dean and English to which she accepted.

In all of the chaos today in the National caucus, Bridges claims he is now considering a run for leadership. He says he was genuine in his dismissal of the idea until the position today was made vacant. 

"That has changed. I am going to consider it."

He will determine his position in the coming days.

'This is not our best day’

Dr Shane Reti, the interim leader of The National Party, spoke at a press conference this afternoon to give details of what will happen next for the opposition party.

He says the caucus was concerned with the manner in which the matter Judith Collins has raised has been handled and led to a vote of no confidence. The caucus will elect a new leader next Thursday.

Reti says Collins will remain in caucus.

Judith Collins is no longer the leader of the National Party, Magic Talk understands.

Newshub's Tova O'Brien said that the leadership is now between Christopher Luxon and Mark Mitchell. One source says Luxon may be leader, with Nicola Willis as deputy.

National MP Stuart Smith says Shane Reti is the interim leader while they decide who is leader, according to Newshub.

It appears a leadership decision will be made next week.

National has said both Simon Bridges & Jacqui Dean will be likely to address the sexual comment allegations sometime on Thursday.

WATCH: Judith Collins demoted potential National leader contender Simon Bridges on Wednesday night after making allegations he was sexually inappropriate towards another party member five years ago.

Bridges and his supporters say this is a political gun shot at him, rumoured to be contesting Collins for leadership of the National Party.

We will update this page throughout the day as more details come to light.

This morning on The AM Show, we covered the party drama as it continued to unfold as members are now in a caucus meeting.

Political Editor Tova O'Brien talked us through the details of the back and forth.

Watch the full video here for more details.

Magic Talk.