Simon Bridges won’t rule out taking another tilt at leadership

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National MP Simon Bridges has spoken about the allegations against him that ultimately led to the end of Judith Collins’ tenure as leader, saying he is not ruling out taking another tilt at the leadership.

Simon Bridges

Photo: RNZ / Dom Thomas

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

It’s understood the comment was made to Waitaki MP Jacqui Dean.

Speaking after Collins today lost a vote of no-confidence and Dr Shane Reti was named as interim leader, Bridges said the comments were made about five years ago about “how to have a girl”.

He said he has since apologised to Dean.

“I recognise it was inappropriate.”

He said he spoke to the leader at that time and apologised then, and has apologised again since. He said he learned a lot from the incident.

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

He is not ruling out taking another tilt at the leadership, saying he will consider it over the next day or two.

He said Collins’ leadership was during a time of rebuilding and she deserved some credit for that.

Dean has also issued a statement regarding the recent events. She said Bridges apologised at the time of the incident “about five years ago” but that his “inappropriate” remarks had continued to play on her mind.

She said Bridges has reiterated his apology in the past few hours.

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