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Judith Collins waits on vacancy to shimmy back into Cabinet

The only thing standing in the way of Judith Collins' return to Cabinet is a full National caucus after the former minister was given the all clear today.

Prime Minister John Key indicated that the former Justice Minister could get back into Cabinet, he just didn't say when.

"We've got a very talented caucus so it's a matter of there being space and her earning her way back in," Mr Key told ONE News.

A report released today found that Ms Collins did not undermine the boss of the Serious Fraud Office in 2011 and she has been completely exonerated.

Ms Collins resigned from her ministerial portfolios in early September following allegations she was involved in a smear campaign against then SFO boss Adam Feeley.

Judge Lester Chisholm's report found there were "efforts" by two separate groups to undermine SFO boss Adam Feeley, none of whom was Ms Collins.

"The first group comprised current and/or former staff of the SFO," the report states.

"The second group comprised Cameron Slater, Cathy Odgers and Carrick Graham with Mr Slater taking the leading role in that group."

Ms Collins' resignation came after an email, written in 2011, emerged from WhaleOil blogger Cameron Slater, which said Ms Collins, the minister responsible for the SFO, was "gunning for" Mr Feeley.

Ms Collins says she hopes the chapter of dealing with the allegations is now closed and she can get back to serving as MP for Papakura.

"This was a difficult time for my family and I," she said.

ONE News Political Editor Corin Dann says that despite Ms Collins being in the clear, he would be surprised if she got back into Cabinet within the next year.

"I think it will take longer than that, she's got a wee way to go but it's not impossible," he told ONE News.

Mr Feeley has spoken in the wake of the inquiry, saying he was pleased it was undertaken so that the public could see that the SFO acted with integrity.

"I am sure that they will be reassured that this inquiry confirms that position."

Judith Collins was cleared of allegations she was involved in a smear campaign against Adam Feeley. Source: 1 NEWS


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