John Stringer trespasses at Conservative AGM
Former interim chairman of the Conservative Party, John Stringer, has left the party's AGM after police were called to remove him from the premises.
Mr Stringer was issued a trespass notice when he arrived this morning, but ignored it and went to the function room anyway.
The party members were hoping to elect six new board members this morning, but Mr Stringer says the process has gone against protocol. He says he's not accepting nonsense and wants the party to move forward and away from former party leader Colin Craig.
Mr Craig didn’t turn up at the meeting and members postponed the proceedings until Mr Stringer had gone.
The members have now concluded their conference and elected a new board – which will be announced on the party's website today.
They are looking to reconvene at another date where they will discuss the issue of leadership.
Earlier on Thursday, Mr Stringer filed a $1 million defamation case against Mr Craig claiming he had defamed him in a pamphlet titled 'Dirty Politics and hidden agendas'.
It was the rebuttal to another lawsuit in which Mr Stringer was on the receiving end of a $750,000 defamation case, for his alleged part in the Dirty Politics campaign.
Mr Craig claims that Mr Stringer defamed him 31 times on separate occasions, but both men vigorously deny claims against each other.
The feud goes back to the chaotic collapse of the party's executive and board in June this year.
Mr Craig resigned amid allegations of inappropriate behaviour and appears to be trying to make a comeback.
Mr Stringer announced he was interim chairman of the board after all the others quit, but subsequently resigned the position.
He says he's considering standing for the leadership.
Mr Craig led the party in the 2014 election campaign.
It won 3.9 percent of the party vote, not enough to get MPs into parliament.
3 News / NZN