Wave of support backing Bill English's leadership bid

Wave of support backing Bill English's leadership bid

National MPs continue to come out in support for Bill English as the next Prime Minister and leader of the National Party.

While Mr English looks set to be leader, the battle for deputy is on between Simon Bridges and Paula Bennett. 

MP Todd Muller is backing Mr English to be leader, and Transport Minister Simon Bridges for deputy.

Justice Minister Amy Adams is not running for deputy leadership, and has declared her support for Mr English as leader but is backing Paula Bennett as deputy.

Foreign Minister Murray McCully says he's also backing Paula Bennett for deputy.

On Thursday morning one of Judith Collins' staunchest backers, Botany MP Jami-Lee Ross, publicly declared support for Mr English.

Mr Ross seems to be backing Mr Bridges as deputy, ahead of Ms Bennett.

Ms Collins pulled out of the leadership race and endorsed Bill English on Thursday afternoon. 

MP Chris Bishop says he's backing Mr English, and says "New Zealanders want and deserve experienced, strong and proven leadership. Bill English will provide that".

Nathan Guy, Michael Woodhouse, Nuk Kurako, Louise Upston, Hekia Parata and Mr Key have already endorsed Mr English.

Newshub's politics team break down the blockbuster week in Parliament

A senior National MP has told Newshub Mr English comfortably has the numbers to take over from John Key.

The next Prime Minister needs the support of 30 of the 59 National MPs. It is understood Mr English has the backing of 45.

John Key announced his resignation as Prime Minister and leader of the National Party on Monday. 

National's caucus will vote for their new leader on December 12.