'I didn't actually complain' - Judith Collins plays down leadership contest spat

Judith Collins is playing down the National leadership contest spat over shows of support for contenders, saying her comments have been exaggerated.

Judith Collins is playing down the leadership contest spat over shows of support for contenders, saying her comments have been exaggerated and it's "just part of a bit of rough and tumble".

One of her rivals for the National Party leadership, Amy Adams, announced her bid on Wednesday flanked by four supporting MPs.

Ms Collins, who had tweeted her own announcement, suggested on Thursday Ms Adams had broken a caucus agreement by turning up with her backers.

That's been denied by Ms Adams and party whip Jami-Lee Ross, who said there was no agreement that MPs would keep quiet about their preferences.

Ms Collins said she wasn't complaining about Ms Adams' tactics.

"I didn't actually complain, that's the weird thing," she told Newshub's AM Show on Friday.

"I was asked a question about why I didn't have anyone with me, I simply answered it and now there's an `allegation' that I haven't really made at all.

"I just think it's part of a bit of rough and tumble."

Ms Collins said she was confident she had "a good shot" at winning the leadership.

"My colleagues who have put their hands up are pretty confident they've got some good numbers too."

The third contender is Simon Bridges.

Steven Joyce and Mark Mitchell are still deciding whether they'll enter the race.

The 56-member caucus must elect a new leader by the time Bill English's resignation takes effect on February 27.

1 NEWS political reporter Andrea Vance has the developments. Source: 1 NEWS


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