Reign ends in turmoil
comment about. Instead, her 9am caucus meeting stretched on for hours, and she eventually announced she had lost the leadership early in the afternoon. ‘‘I knew when I was confided in by a female colleague regarding her allegation of serious misconduct against a senior colleague, that I would likely lose the leadership by taking the matter so seriously,’’ Collins said on Twitter. ‘‘If I hadn’t, then I felt that I wouldn’t deserve the role. ‘‘I didn’t ask for the allegation to be given to me.’’ Collins left Parliament in a hurry yesterday, telling media she felt ‘‘very good’’ and had no regrets. Bridges himself said Collins’ demotion of him was ‘‘truly desperate stuff’’, and it showed she would do ‘‘anything’’ to hold on to the leadership. He said he had sought to hold an emergency caucus meeting on Wednesday night after she announced his demotion, but this was denied. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern refused to be drawn into National’s leadership drama when speaking to media in Auckland yesterday. Collins’ exit is the latest twist in a torrid two years for the National Party, which has been slammed with instability since Bridges was rolled as leader last year. The party has not polled above 30 per cent since its horror election result, the second-worst in its 70-year history.