Luxon to run for National leadership, 1News understands

Source: 1News

First-term MP for Botany Christopher Luxon will be contending for the National Party leadership, 1News understands.

Christopher Luxon of the National Party.

The former Air New Zealand boss, however, was keeping silent about his intentions last week. He said he wanted to wait until after the caucus met on Tuesday.

It pits him against former leader Simon Bridges, the only MP who has publicly declared he has put his hat in the ring.

1News’ political editor Jessica Mutch McKay told Q+A on Sunday Luxon would be the “smart choice” of the two.

It comes after Judith Collins was dumped as the leader on Thursday following a dramatic 15 hours.

Late on Wednesday night, Collins released a statement that Bridges was being demoted following an allegation of serious misconduct.

Bridges revealed on Thursday it related to a lewd comment he made in front of fellow National MP Jacqui Dean in 2017, which had been dealt with in the party at the time.

Collins, weighing in on her possible replacements on Thursday, quickly ruled out backing Bridges or Mark Mitchell for the role.

However, she said Luxon is intelligent and “a nice man.”