National MP Todd Muller resigned after leaking against Harete Hipango to journalist

Newshub can reveal National MP Todd Muller stood down after admitting to badmouthing his colleague Harete Hipango to a journalist - and being quoted. 

The former National leader announced on Wednesday he would be retiring at the 2023 election after apologising for his actions to his caucus. 

Muller has decided he'll move on from Parliament - but not just yet. National leader Judith Collins said he's "committed to be the MP and he wants to finish his term". 

His leader is neither enthused nor amused about the news.

"It's not up to me, is it?" she said, when asked if she'd prefer Muller to go before the election. 

Newshub has been told the National caucus met on Tuesday night, and despite Collins being tight lipped about what was discussed, a source told Newshub the meeting was called to call out Muller for leaking.

Newshub has been told the finger was pointed at Muller for leaking against newly reinstated MP Harete Hipango who was sworn in on Tuesday, filling the vacancy left by Nick Smith.

A story emerged about her colleagues calling her a liability and not a team player. 

On Wednesday another story emerged about a National MP alleged to have inappropriately spent taxpayer money on furniture and a TV. Collins says it was all a coding error and outed Hipango as the furniture MP.

"Harete Hipango has asked me to state that she is the person that is the subject of that story," Collins told reporters. 

Newshub put the leaking allegations to Muller. He said he wasn't accused of "leaking" and did not "leak" but that he had made an anonymous comment about Hipango to a journalist that was subsequently quoted, and on Tuesday he admitted to this and apologised to both the leader and the caucus at the meeting.

It's a tumultuous end, much like Muller's tumultuous 53-day reign as leader.