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Jessica Mutch McKay: Simon Bridges challenges leadership rivals to 'put up or shut up'

Any hopes of a clean, tidy and private leadership discussion within the National Party have gone out the window with Simon Bridges revealing on Breakfast that two people will challenge for the leader and deputy leader roles when caucus meets on Tuesday.

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1 NEWS understands the challengers are Nikki Kaye and Todd Muller. Source: 1 NEWS

He’s scrapping and hopes this chess move will pay off with his and Paula Bennett's leadership then off the agenda for the next four months.

Source: 1 NEWS

Otherwise, National will emerge on Tuesday with a new leader.

It’s a political manoeuvre, calling out his challengers - including Todd Muller and Nikki Kaye - to put up or shut up and he told Breakfast he’s confident he can win.

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'I'm the leader, I'm staying' - Simon Bridges defiant despite National's horror poll result

In recent times the party has prided itself on having clean and swift leadership changes, but Bridges coming out this morning marks Tuesday on the calendar for the showdown.

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The National Party leader defended his role after disastrous poll results lead to questions of his leadership. Source: 1 NEWS

He’s faced criticism over his handling of the Covid-19 crisis - struggling to find a voice - and when he did, being criticised for his tone and judgement. The latest polling from Reid Research has been a big blow too.

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Facebook post prompts National MPs to question Simon Bridges’ leadership

The Prime Minister has had daily media exposure throughout the last two months, now the spotlight is on the National Party – but perhaps not in the manner they had in mind.