National deputy leader role up for grabs

MPs will vote on the role currently held by Paula Bennett.
MPs will vote on the role currently held by Paula Bennett. Photo credit: Newshub

The National party leadership race has widened to include a potential new deputy.

Senior whip Jami-Lee Ross said deputy leader Paula Bennett approached him last week to recommend there be a vote on the role she holds.

The caucus confirmed that at a meeting on Tuesday morning.

Ms Bennett will be putting herself forward to continue as deputy as part of the new leadership team, she said on Facebook. 

"I do think it is important that we have a vote after electing a new leader to make sure we have the right mix." 

When the leadership contest kicked off, Ms Bennett told media she wanted to stick around as deputy leader and ruled herself out of a run for the top job.

"I will not be seeking the National Party leadership, I believe it's in my role as deputy where I have the most to add," she said.

"Our new leader will need help from an experienced, loyal deputy and I offer that."

National's caucus will vote on its leadership team on February 27, when Bill English steps down as leader of the party and leaves Parliament.

Newshub.