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NZ Opposition Todd Muller resigns as National leader
10:50 pm GMT+12, 13/07/2020, New Zealand

New Zealand's National leader Todd Muller has resigned from the role a little over a month after deposing Simon Bridges, citing the heavy toll the job has taken on him and his family.
 
In a brief statement, Muller said he had taken time over the weekend “to reflect on my experience over the last several weeks as Leader of the Opposition”.
 
“It has become clear to me that I am not the best person to be Leader of the Opposition and Leader of the New Zealand National Party at this critical time for New Zealand. 
 
“It is more important than ever that the New Zealand National Party has a leader who is comfortable in the role.
 
“The role has taken a heavy toll on me personally, and on my family, and this has become untenable from a health perspective.
 
For that reason I will be stepping down as leader effective immediately.”
 
Muller said he intended to take time out of the spotlight to spend time with his family and restore his energy, and would continue to serve as a National Party member and MP for the Bay of Plenty.
 
He said he would not be making any further comment, and asked the media to respect his and his family's privacy.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has passed her best wishes on to Muller and his family.

“No matter what side of Parliament you're sitting, politics is a difficult place,” she said.

Massey University professor and political commentator Claire Robinson said he was naive.

“I think it shows how completely unprepared he was for the role. He obviously thought he was God's gift to the National Party and taking over from Simon Bridges ... and I think he thought it was going to be so easy simply to role out a whole lot of new policies under his leadership and everybody would think: 'Oh good, everything is okay now'.” .

SOURCE: NEWSROOM/PACNEWS


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