29 Apr 2011

ACT founder critical of leadership change process

7:59 pm on 29 April 2011

A founding member of the ACT party says many party members are upset about the manner in which Don Brash has taken over as leader.

Dr Brash will take charge of the party on Saturday after Rodney Hide announced he would stand aside in his favour.

ACT member and former party vice-president Vince Ashworth says he and others are very unhappy at Dr Brash for not using the proper process, including becoming a member first, in his bid to take over the leadership.

He says the actions reek of arrogance.

Mr Ashworth says he believes that, had Dr Brash gone about taking the leadership using the proper process, he would have had widespread support from party members.

Meanwhile, the ACT MP Hilary Calvert says she did not switch sides to oust Rodney Hide as leader, contrary to some media reports this week.

Reports had said the MP's switch of allegiance was decisive in Mr Hide stepping aside for Dr Brash.

But the Dunedin list MP says she was the one who asked to see Dr Brash midweek to hear his views, and he did not ask for her backing.