Tony Ryall promoted to Acting Prime Minister

  • 20/08/2009

By Dan Parker

Health Minister Tony Ryall has been given the promotion of a lifetime - if only for three days.

With John Key away in Australia, Mr Ryall has been installed as the Acting Prime Minister.

The promotion has come after 19 years in Parliament, in a career that has spanned many portfolios and many colourful ties.

The switch only happened at 4pm today because the other three ministers that sit above Mr Ryall in the rankings are also in Australia.

The promotion will last for until Mr Key returns from the joint cabinet meeting between New Zealand and Australian ministers.

In the meantime, Mr Ryall says he doesn't have any urgent prime ministerial business and is off home to Tauranga.

On Sunday the acting number one will drop back down to number five - just where he says he likes it.

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