Todd Muller resigns as leader of the National Party

Publish Date
Tuesday, 14 July 2020, 7:45AM
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National leader Todd Muller has quit for health reasons, plunging the National Party into turmoil just 67 days before the general election.

A statement was released at 7.33am and says he is stepping down as leader "effective immediately."

Muller was leader was for just 53 days after rolling Simon Bridges.

"It has become clear to me that I am not the best person to be Leader of the Opposition and Leader of the New Zealand National Party at this critical time for New Zealand," Muller said today.

"It is more important than ever that the New Zealand National Party has a leader who is comfortable in the role."

Muller says the role had taken a "heavy toll" on him personally.

He intended to take some time out of the spotlight to spend with his family and to restore energy before reconnecting with his community.

Muller's full statement:

I have taken time over the weekend to reflect on my experience over the last several weeks as Leader of the Opposition.

It has become clear to me that I am not the best person to be Leader of the Opposition and Leader of the New Zealand National Party at this critical time for New Zealand.

It is more important than ever that the New Zealand National Party has a leader who is comfortable in the role.

The role has taken a heavy toll on me personally, and on my family, and this has become untenable from a health perspective.

For that reason I will be stepping down as Leader effective immediately.

I intend to take some time out of the spotlight to spend with family and restore my energy before reconnecting with my community.

I look forward to continuing to serve as a loyal member of the National Party team and Member of Parliament for Bay of Plenty.