1 May 2011

ACT deputy leadership may face challenge

10:11 pm on 1 May 2011

New ACT party leader Don Brash has indicated there could be a change in the deputy leadership.

Dr Brash, a former National Party leader, was unanimously endorsed as leader by the ACT board and caucus in Auckland on Saturday, taking over from Rodney Hide.

Deputy leader John Boscawen could also face a challenge, most likely from former deputy Heather Roy.

Dr Brash says he is talking with each member of the caucus to get their perceptions of how different MPs are operating and will form his own judgement after those discussions.

Mr Boscawen says he doesn't know whether he has the numbers, but would like to stay on in the job and would be as loyal to Dr Brash as he was to Rodney Hide.

He says he would like to retain his responsibilities as Minister of Consumer Affairs and Associate Commerce Minister but that is also up for discussion with the new leader and the caucus.

As for the ministerial porfolios held by Rodney Hide, Dr Brash says he will discuss those with the Prime Minister.

Dr Brash expects the deputy leadership to be discussed at Tuesday's regular caucus meeting, which he will attend.

Timing of announcement

More details are emerging about the events that led to the change of leadership of the ACT Party.

Discussions had been held for several weeks between Dr Brash and members of ACT about how he might become involved in the party, and co-leadership was one option that was put forward.

Mr Boscawen says it was Mr Hide alone who made the decision that he would stand down, after taking the views of others into account.

Mr Boscawen says he'd decided earlier than people realised, on Tuesday, but did not announce it until Thursday.