Bridges leadership bid likely

Tauranga MP Simon Bridges.

Tauranga MP Simon Bridges looks set to be the first National MP to announce a bid to replace Bill English as leader.

English announced his resignation in two weeks on Tuesday, setting off a two week contest for leadership aspirants in his party to win support from their fellow MPs.

On his way into Parliament on Wednesday morning Simon said he had been talking to colleagues about what he was going to do.

"I am talking to colleagues, and look it may well be that later today I have something more to say."

Simon ran for deputy during the last leadership race and is widely tipped to be one of the main contenders for leader.

"Obviously this is quite a momentous time for us. Losing Bill English, who I think gave exemplary service to the National Party to Government and to New Zealand, it's natural that colleagues talk over what that means and what it means for our future.

"I am thinking about it and talking to colleagues and may well have more to say later today."

Simon says English's announcement yesterday was "very surprising" and any talks had been "post yesterday-morning".

He missed the caucus on Tuesday morning as his flight couldn't get to Wellington.

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