'That's a fact': Winston Peters confident Simon Bridges will not be National leader in 2020

Winston Peters is confident National will have a new leader in 2020, despite Simon Bridges being open to an alliance with New Zealand First. 

Peters, the Deputy Prime Minister and leader of New Zealand First, criticised Bridges' leadership on Tuesday, telling Magic Talk he's confident National will elect a new leader before the next general election.  

"Simon Bridges isn't going to last much longer as the National Party leader - that's a fact. I've been around long enough to know," Peters said. 

"His lack of leadership and his lack of connection and lack of belief and his lack of charity, means he's going to be gone from that job very soon."

That's despite Bridges not ruling out an alliance with New Zealand First, telling Magic Talk on Monday: "If [Peters] is still in a position of being kingmaker at the next election, let's see what happens." 

Newshub's latest poll showed Bridges' popularity had dropped to 4.2 percent as preferred Prime Minister behind Jacinda Ardern on 49 percent. 

Peters doubled down on his call on Sunday for Bridges to resign over promising to withdraw New Zealand's support for the United Nations Global Migration Compact, if National is elected in 2020.  

Peters claims National's opposition to the non-binding international agreement on coordinating migration policy has fired up far-right groups who believe the pact is binding and fear for New Zealand's sovereignty. 

National's opposition to the pact came back to haunt Bridges after the March 15 Christchurch terror attack. In the hours that followed, a petition against the pact was removed from the party's website, leading to the 'emotional junior staffer' saga. 

'That's a fact': Winston Peters confident Simon Bridges will not be National leader in 2020
Photo credit: File

"It took till 15 March this year for him to realise, 'Well this isn't going too good', and they pulled it down," Peters said of the petition. "You've got a whole lot of bull-dust and misrepresentation of the facts put out there for a political purpose."

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern echoed Peters on Monday, accusing National of peddling a "factually incorrect" narrative about the UN pact, signed by the Government in December. 

"I did hold concerns because we weren't having a debate that was anchored in the facts," she said at her Monday post-Cabinet press conference. 

It was revealed last month that the Government Communications Security Bureau (GCSB) had linked a campaign against New Zealand signing up to the UN pact to neo-Nazi groups in Austria. 

Peters revealed on Sunday he received death threats from far-right extremist Philip Arps - the man jailed for sharing the Christchurch shooting video online - after he signed New Zealand up to the UN pact. 

"I'm just glad that we had the guts and the courage to see these malignant influences off, and to stick to matters of principle, and I'm proud of that."

Newshub.

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