Rumours Simon Bridges will be rolled 'just nonsense' - Paul Goldsmith

Rumours National leader Simon Bridges will be rolled are "just nonsense", according to finance spokesperson Paul Goldsmith.

There's been speculation Bridges could be axed by his party after a recent Facebook post criticising the Government's lockdown extension decision received a torrent of negative comments - including from his own National supporters.

Appearing on Magic Mornings with Peter Williams on Wednesday, Goldsmith dismissed the criticism.

"It's just nonsense," he replied. "These things come and go. I think I heard on one radio station the alarming headline that Simon Bridges was defending criticising the Government.

"Well that's what the Opposition does from time to time and it's not just for the fun of it. It's an important thing to do, to hold the Government of the day to account no matter how important they think they are."

Goldsmith was questioned if he was confident Bridges will be taking the Opposition into the upcoming election.

"Absolutely," Goldsmith replied.

"It is an important role. A lot of people would have seen that the Prime Minister has dominated the headlines and every aspect of the media for a very long period of time.

"But it's important to have that question from time to time and raise those basic issues and hold the Government account and I think it's only appropriate that that happens."

The AM Show host Duncan Garner reported on Wednesday morning that a National Party insider had told him MPs were being canvassed to understand how much support there was for a leadership challenge by Mark Mitchell and Paula Bennett.

And Bridges himself was asked by Garner for his reaction to the rumours. 

"No, I think you and I know the blessing of being an Opposition leader is to have these sort of stories from time to time," Bridges replied.

He was then asked if it was possible he just wasn't aware of a potential leadership challenge.

"I certainly don't know and I don't think any of that is true. I think it started online and I can sorta see how that comes from a left-wing blogger and that is the way these things go," Bridges said.

Bennett tweeted on Wednesday morning that speculation was based on people being bored.

"I get people are bored & looking for entertainment but false speculating on the leadership of the Nat party has no factual basis. Can't believe a tweet from a known stirring leftie is getting any pick up! Move on, we back Simon. We have a health crisis & an economy to fix," she said.

Mitchell said Bridges was working very hard in the role and had his support.

"My job is to support and look after my electorate. To get us through the lockdown in the best shape possible. That is where my focus is. Simon is working very hard as Leader of the opposition, it's an important job, he has my full support. Stay Safe everyone," he tweeted.