Judith Collins reiterates National ‘united’ behind her leadership

Judith Collins reiterated this morning she still has the support of her caucus as National’s leader, as speculation continues about a Simon Bridges and Christopher Luxon takeover.

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It comes amid chatter Simon Bridges and Christopher Luxon may make a bid for the leadership. Source: Breakfast

Collins told Breakfast the party was in a “period of rebuild” after a “really challenging” time in the election last year. 

“Our caucus is absolutely united. They are fully supporting me.”

She said she had “no problem” with Bridges or Luxon, adding, “they’re great people” and a great addition to the caucus team. 

“I’ve never had to ask them the question [about leadership].”

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Collins confident National caucus backs her as leader, amid ‘whispers’ of Luxon-Bridges takeover

Yesterday, in an unusual move, National planned two caucus meetings instead of just one. 

But Collins said it was because Parliament was adjourned early after it paid its tributes to the late Prince Philip. 

She said the party used the time to have a “whole big session on policy”. 

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The party leader says any “whispers” of a Simon Bridges and Chris Luxon leadership ticket is “false”. Source: 1 NEWS

“We’ve got some more sessions on policy coming up. We’re in a policy time and that is really important this time.

“There’s no point doing our policy work just before an election.”

But just last month, Discovery reported National MPs, in a rare move, had overridden Collins' and her deputy Shane Reti’s policy stance on fluoridation. 

Bridges yesterday said there was “no truth” to “chatter” about taking over the party’s leadership with Luxon. 

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The former leader says he “supports Judith Collins at this time” and there is “no truth” to the “rumour”. Source: 1 NEWS

He called it “rumour and speculation” and said “I support Judith Collins at this time”. 

But he didn’t completely deny speaking with Luxon about the topic.

 "I talk with lots of colleagues. I can't be expected to remember everything I say."

When asked by 1 NEWS what he meant by “this time”, Bridges said reporters shouldn’t hang off his every phrase, adding, “I wish you did when I was leader”.

While Bridges spoke yesterday, Luxon walked quickly behind him before he was stopped by media outside the caucus room. Reti swiftly took him into the room before he could answer any questions.