Newshub can reveal National MP Todd Muller stood down after admitting to badmouthing his colleague Harete Hipango to a journalist – and being quoted.
The former National leader announced on Wednesday he would be retiring at the 2023 election after apologising for his actions to his caucus.
Muller has decided he’ll move on from Parliament – but not just yet. National leader Judith Collins said he’s “committed to be the MP and he wants to finish his term”.
There are two interesting issues with Muller announcing his retirement 2 years from the next election for leaking.
The first is that no one cares.
After the cavalcade of National Party circus freaks who have imploded in the last 12months, National have sunk to such political irrelevance that the news of a past Leader knifing another MP by leaking barely causes a ripple.
The second thing being missed is how ruthlessly efficient Judith has been to cement her Leadership into place. I think she will stick it out to the 2023 election now.
If she can rebrand from the Crusher to the Defender to maximise culture war backlash, Judith can fend ACT off and rebuild for 2026.
If she can’t, ACT and NZ First will feast upon the bloated corpse of the National Party.
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