Leighton Baker appointed as new Conservative Party leader

  • 24/01/2017
Leighton Baker conservative party leader
Leighton Baker (Supplied/Conservative Party)

The Conservative Party has a new leader, Leighton Baker, 18 months after Colin Craig resigned amid a scandal involving his former press secretary.

Mr Baker is a former farmer who now runs his own building company in Christchurch.

The party's board announced the appointment on Tuesday.

Mr Craig, who founded the party, resigned in June 2015 following a spate of allegations about his relationship with Rachel MacGregor.

In October last year the Human Rights Tribunal ordered Mr Craig to pay Ms MacGregor nearly $129,000 for the "severe humiliation" he had caused her.

Mr Craig had previously lost a defamation action brought by Taxpayers' Union executive director Jordan Williams, and was ordered to pay $1.27 million.

The party won 3.97 percent of the party vote in the 2014 election under Mr Craig's leadership.

It hasn't announced plans for this year's election.

The board says it remains committed to "practical thinking and policies that make sense".

NZN