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Marlborough Express - 2021-11-26

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Collins’ ‘rule by fear’

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respect and admiration, you don’t do it like that.’’ Collins was yesterday ousted by the party after 499 days in the job, marking its third leadership change in two years. Her resignation was prompted by her latenight demotion of former leader Simon Bridges that angered her caucus. Shane Reti, who was the party’s deputy leader, has stepped into the role in the interim with a vote scheduled for next Tuesday to select a permanent replacement. The likely challengers for the leadership were former Air NZ boss and rookie MP Chris Luxon and former cop Mark Mitchell, Stuff had been told by sources close to the party. National MP Nicola Willis was said to be standing as Luxon’s deputy. Before Collins’ resignation was announced, National MP Simon O’connor said she had to go. ‘‘One thing is abundantly clear to me and that is Judith Collins must resign. Her actions are just downright appalling as is the way that this has been handled,’’ O’connor said. Collins resigned amid a caucus uproar over her shock demotion of former leader Bridges over comments he allegedly made four years ago. She announced his demotion late on Wednesday night without consulting the wider caucus of MPS, who were furious with her. Collins had planned to hold a press conference at 10am with Jacqui Dean, the MP who Bridges was alleged to have made a

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