November 25, 2021
Collins sets up showdown with Bridges
The leadership of the National Party is on the line with Judith Collins holding a press conference at 10 am this morning to explain why she has demoted former leader Simon Bridges for comments he made five years ago.
Ms Collins says she has just been made aware of the seriousness of the complaint and the ongoing distress this has caused the complainant.
It’s believed to relate to an incident at a party function where Mr Bridges made a disparaging comment to Waitaki MP Jacqui Dean, which he later apologised for.
Political scientist Dominic O’Sullivan from Te Rarawa and Ngāti Kahu says it appears to be an attempt by Ms Collins to end a rival’s career at a time her own leadership is looking increasingly under threat.
“It does have the appearance of something contrived, either to force Bridges to bring it on, perhaps when he’s not quite ready, perhaps he hasn’t quite got the numbers yet. If this is true and it is as serious as Collins claims, questions would be asked about why the National Party would want to have bridges in parliament at all,” he says.
Professor O’Sullivan says if she can’t justify the demotion, Ms Collins may have scored her own goal.