National disunity: Caucus meeting hits three-hour mark

National MPs are still meeting amid the saga between National leader Judith Collins and former leader Simon Bridges, heading into their fourth hour.

Simon Bridges and Judith Collins

National MPs headed into the caucus meeting at 9am.

Late last night, Collins released a statement informing media Bridges was being demoted following a complaint around a serious misconduct allegation.

"The case relates to comments made by Mr Bridges to a female caucus colleague at a function a number of years ago," Collins said.

It is understood that MP is Jacqui Dean and the comment was allegedly made in front of her in 2017.

"Having been made aware of the seriousness of the complaint for the first time and the ongoing distress this has caused the complainant, I was left with no option but to immediately demote Simon Bridges and relieve him of his portfolio responsibilities."

Collins was due to hold a media conference at 10am. 1News.co.nz will carry it live.

Just after 7am Bridges arrived at Parliament, telling media there was “a huge amount I want to say about what happened yesterday and how wrong it was”.

“I assure you I will but I want to talk to my caucus first and be very clear with them about what I think and about what I think should happen for the National Party,” Bridges said.

Bridges told media it demonstrated Collins would go to “any length to hold onto the leadership of the National Party”.

National MPs then arrived at Parliament, with Simon O’Connor saying Collins’ actions and the handling of the situation was “downright appalling”.