Former Conservative Party leader Colin Craig issued a media statement yesterday morning saying:
As many of you are aware speculation broke yesterday that the conservative party board meeting planned for this evening would see a leadership vote taken. There have been many and varied rumors about this ranging from the intriguing to the ridiculous. The meeting tonight has been postponed.
The board have been in extensive communication over the last 24 hours.
There are some board members that think it is timely to have a leadership discussion. The board does review leadership as a minimum annually but have the power to review the leadership at any time.
I am fully supportive of the call for a review. The party is now over 3 years old, campaigned hard with a strong showing in 2014 and has a membership and supporter base heading toward 10,000. This stage in the election cycle is the appropriate time to consider the future direction and to implement key personnel and structural changes if any.
With this in mind Brian and I have been in extensive discussion today and I have offered to facilitate the process by taking the following steps.
1. I have offered to stand down as leader to enable the board to consider the leadership role
2. I will be working with the party secretary and will ensure that the balance of any outstanding loan is forgiven so that there are no financial liabilities between myself and the party
The nature and scope of the review is a matter for the board to determine. I have full confidence in the board to manage the process and achieve the best outcomes for the party.
I now hand you over the our Party Chairman Brian Dobbs
. . . As Colin has advised there is a desire to engage in a discussion around leadership and the board will be undertaking that process over the coming weeks.
I am grateful to Colin that he stood down to allow the board to explore all possible leadership options going forward.
I do want to acknowledge and publically thank Colin for the tremendous contribution that he has made in helping found the party, and his leadership of it through the first 3 years. He has showing outstanding commitment in advancing the cause of conservatism in New Zealand.
Colin has also advised that regardless of any board decision he will remain an active member and supporter of the party. This demonstrates to me the co-operative and committed approach that is so often found within our party.
There will inevitably be questions about what process or direction the board will take. In response I advise that the board has yet to determine that. What I can confirm is that we will be fully engaging with the various regional committees, members and supporters prior to making any further announcements.
Colin Craig’s statement today, along with other public statements in recent days, breach a confidentially agreement that Mr Craig and I reached during a Human Rights Commission mediation.
Despite Mr Craig’s pubic comments I have been advised by my lawyers that I am still bound by the confidentiality agreement.
I am therefore unable to correct the clear factual inaccuracies contained in the statement Mr Craig made today without jeopardising my legal position. I am willing to correct those inaccuracies if Mr Craig confirms that he will not take legal action under the confidentiality agreement when I do so.
I am also willing to fully brief the Conservative Party Board on Mr Craig’s conduct but, again, this would require Mr Craig’s consent.
Until Mr Craig lifts confidentiality, I can make no further comments.
In an earlier tweet, she had accused Craig of trying to frame her as a mistress.
This is a mess which will seriously damage the party but that’s only politics.
My sympathy is with the people hurt by this, especially , McGregor and Helen Craig.