After failing to mention Simon Bridges in valedictory, Chris Finlayson offers muted appraisal of his 2020 election chances

National's Chris Finlayson delivered his valedictory speech yesterday to Parliament reflecting on his political career, but failed to mention leader Simon Bridges.

He paid tribute in his speech to former party leaders and prime ministers Sir John Key and Sir Bill English.

He also praised Gerry Brownlee for his efforts to rebuild Christchurch after the earthquakes and MP Nikki Kaye, who fought cancer.

When Breakfast host Jack Tame asked why Mr Bridges wasn't mentioned he said, “I was very much focused on the team brand National.

“People who focus on themselves are of no use whatsoever.”

Tame also asked whether or not Simon Bridges is the man to lead National to victory in the next election, but Mr Finlayson gave him a very lukewarm answer.

“I think he has had a good year and a tough year, no one would have ever prepared themselves for what happened with the Jami-Lee Ross tragedy – that was a real curve ball and we’re through it.

“(The) National Party needs to focus on policy development and getting out there and getting good candidates.”

Earlier in the year Mr Ross released a secret tape of National party leader Simon Bridges in which he mentioned Mr Finlayson as one of the "obvious" MPs who should resign from Parliament to make room for new MPs.

Mr Finlayson said the tape has nothing to do with his departure and he is not upset about it.

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    Christopher Finlayson fails to respond to Breakfast host Jack Tame’s question about whether Mr Bridges is the man to lead National to victory in the next election. Source: Breakfast

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