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Gerry Brownlee Statement on Deputy Leadership

Statement on Deputy Leadership

Tomorrow, the National Party caucus will choose a new leader. I’m confident that will be John Key and he has my full support.

For the past three years it’s been my privilege to support Don Brash in my role as Deputy Leader of the National Party.

During that time, National has made very significant electoral progress. We almost won the 2005 election but, more importantly, we have developed a team of very competent and capable people who, complimented by a talented new intake, stand ready as the alternative Government of New Zealand.

My primary goal as a Member of Parliament and a member of the National Party caucus is to ensure all is done toward achieving a National-led Government in 2008.

John Key will lead a Government focused on high aspiration, determined to achieve better opportunities for all New Zealanders to enjoy life and prosper in this country.

Media reports over the past couple of days suggesting splits and divisions over who should support John Key in the Deputy Leader role have concerned me.

Such stories do not fairly reflect the overwhelming desire we all share to end the term of the Clark government and win the opportunity to lead from the treasury benches after the 2008 election.

This is a wonderful country and it deserves better leadership. A National Government will provide that.

I’ve always found in politics that position and title have little to do with influence.

So it’s my decision to end any speculation that deflects from the commitment the

National Party caucus has to winning in 2008.

Accordingly, when the position of Deputy Leader falls vacant at tomorrow’s caucus, I do not intend putting my name forward.

I will accept what ever portfolios John Key entrusts me with, and look forward to working with him as we move toward the election and as a Minister in the Government he will lead as Prime Minister.

Ends

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