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Leighton Baker steps down as New Conservative leader

Leighton Baker has stepped down as leader of the New Conservative Party, replaced by his deputy.

Source: 1 NEWS

The party garnered 1.5 per cent of the vote in this year's election and didn't make it into Parliament.

Today, Baker announced he was stepping down, saying he had enjoyed the leadership role "immensely".

"However, the board has decided that now is the time to try another leadership style, and I wish them well in that," Baker says.

Deputy leader Elliot Ikilei will be replacing him as the party's leader, while Victoria O’Brien is the new deputy.

"Elliot and I have worked on two election campaigns together and although our styles and focus are different, they have complemented each other," Baker says.

He says he'll continue to promote "the beliefs of democracy, free speech, the importance of families and reward for effort".

Elliot Ikilei, leader of the New Conservative party. Source: Supplied

On the party's website, Ikilei is described as the "dynamic and passionate" leader of New Conservative.

"He is recognised as the champion for the protection of free speech, taking the political lead to defend against attacks on our fundamental right to hear, discuss and express ideas and thoughts," his website bio says.

"Through life experience and his life’s work with vulnerable youth, Elliot is everything New Zealand politics needs."

Ikilei attended an anti-lockdown and anti-vaccine protest during the country's second wave of Covid-19, after a community outbreak linked to an Auckland coolstore.

During the election campaign, he wrote that the party's Instagram page had been "attacked and hacked" by "leftists" when it posted a message of support for LGBTQIA+ people.