From page 1// Who will be next?
email from party president Peter Goodfellow to members said this was not the case. ‘‘No specific penalties or actions were discussed, agreed, or endorsed by the Board at its meeting yesterday, beyond our support for an investigation in line with due process,’’ Goodfellow wrote. Former National speaker and senior minister David Carter celebrated Collins’ ousting. ‘‘She’s attempted to rule by fear, and that doesn’t work,’’ Carter said. ‘‘Leadership is about gaining respect and admiration, you don’t do it like that.’’ The displeasure of MPs before the meeting was made obvious by Tamaki MP Simon O’Connor, who eschewed the normal diplomacy to tell media he would find it impossible to continue to serve under her. ‘‘One thing is abundantly clear to me and that is Judith Collins must resign. Her actions are just downright appalling,’’ O’Connor said. National’s MPs opted not to force a vote on a new leader right away, as they did last time the job was vacant when Todd Muller resigned. Instead, a vote is planned for Tuesday – although there is nothing stopping a decision being made before that, as National has no set process for leadership spills. All MPs have agreed to avoid on the record comments about the various contenders in the race, where possible. Some see the open race held in 2018 to replace Bill English as the start of the party’s instability, as internal issues were aired in public. Bridges made clear that he had some ambition to take up the role again, but did not commit to running. ‘‘I do think I’m a bit older and wiser, I do think I have a sense of what New Zealand needs at this time,’’ Bridges said. It’s understood that Bridges is all-but certain to run. Other contenders are not so locked in. Mitchell is seen by several National MPs as a perennial contender unlikely to have the votes. It is still unclear whether Luxon wants the top job at this point – but many believe he could take the finance job in a new-look shadow cabinet. Carter said whoever took on the job needed to focus on ending the disunity – but if they did that, they could still win the 2023 election.