5 Dec 2013

Brash sees several potential candidates as leader

9:05 am on 5 December 2013

Former ACT Party leader Don Brash says there are several strong candidates for the party's top job.

Sole MP John Banks will stand down as leader in March and leave Parliament at the end of the year.

A High Court judge ruled on Tuesday that Mr Banks should stand trial for making a false electoral return relating to his failed bid for the Auckland mayoralty in 2010.

Dr Brash said there are four members who would be able to step into the role.

He said Jamie Whyte, Catherine Isaac, David Seymour and Rodney Hide have all been mentioned as strong candidates.

Dr Brash said people are also talking about outsiders such as Cameron Brewer and Matthew Hooton as potential contenders.

Earlier, Party president John Boscawen said ACT is still a political force and it will renew itself to fight next year's election.

But political lecturer Bryce Edwards of Otago University said the party is in its death throes and its demise leaves room for another right-wing party.

But he said that party is not the Conservatives - rather a radical economically right-wing or neo-liberal party.