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NZ's next prime minister will be Bill English

Thursday 8th December 2016

John Key's right-hand man has no more opponents.

 

Bill English will become the country’s next prime minister, with 30 National MPs - including outgoing PM John Key - publicly backing him ahead of a vote on Monday.

As the numbers came in, Police Minister Judith Collins announced she was pulling out of the race for the top job, and was backing English herself. 

This is despite her criticising him yesterday for holding out on police funding.

Earlier today, Health Minister Jonathan Coleman, who also put his name in the hat to become our next PM after Key resigned this week, said he would remain in the race.

But this afternoon he withdrew, leaving English the last candidate standing - and the presumptive next PM.

READ RNZ'S LIVE BLOG HERE

Earlier today, RNZ reported the support of 30 National MPs would likely be enough to secure English the role after Monday’s caucus vote.

National Party pollster David Farrar tweeted today that an endorsement by Taranaki-King Country MP Barbara Kuriger was number 30. 

Clutha-Southland MP Todd Barclay also tweeted his support for English today:

English previously stood in the Clutha-Southland electorate, and both men were born in the small Southland town of Dipton. 

English is probably pretty stoked today, Generation Zero’s Sudhvir Singh reckons. 

And Collins' announcement was a pain in the neck for some journalists. 

Which she's probably pretty happy about.

 

On Monday, National Party MPs will meet at Parliament to vote for a new leader and deputy. The new PM will be sworn in on Tuesday.

Social Housing Minister Paula Bennett and Transport Minister Simon Bridges have both put their names forward to be English's second-in-command if he becomes PM.

This morning English said he would give Steven Joyce the finance portfolio if he wins the party's leadership. 

You can read about English's views on abortion, marriage equality, euthanasia, and prostitution and cannabis reform here.



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Susan Strongman is an Auckland-based journalist at The Wireless. She is interested in social issues, human rights and people, but likes to spend her spare time with her cats.
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