New Zealand opposition leader Collins was overthrown by the caucus

One year after suffering a huge election defeat, New Zealand’s conservative opposition leader Judith Collins was ousted by her caucus

Collins spent 16 turbulent months in this role. Her opinion polls as the leader of the National Party have never achieved good results, even after the popularity of liberal Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has begun to decline following the outbreak of the coronavirus in Auckland in recent months.

Rumors about possible action against Collins have been circulating for weeks. But she finally took the first step on Wednesday night, depriving the former leader and potential competitor Simon Bridges of the portfolio.

Collins said she made this move because she first discovered that Bridges had made inappropriate comments to her female colleague Jacqui Dean at an event about five years ago.

But other National Party members were dissatisfied with Collins’ actions and pointed out that Bridges had already apologized at that time.

A new National Party leader will be elected next week. Possible competitors include Bridges, former Air New Zealand CEO Christopher Luxon and former police officer Mark Mitchell. Collins plans to remain in Parliament as the legislator representing Auckland’s Papakura District.

Collins said it takes perseverance and determination to take up leadership positions in the “worst time”.

Collins wrote on Twitter: “When a female colleague confided to me her allegations of serious misconduct against a senior colleague, I knew that if I took the matter so seriously, I might lose leadership.” “If I don’t have one, then I don’t think I deserve this role.”

Dean said Bridges apologized at the time, but the incident “continues to linger in my mind”.

Ardern won his second term last year by a historic overwhelming advantage. Since then, the popularity of her Labour Party has declined, but most of the proceeds went to the liberal ACT Party, while Collins and the National Party continued to slump in the polls.


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