Ex-New Zealand PM English to leave parliament

Bill English at home in Dipton. BARRY HARCOURT  STUFF

English, 56, said he will resign as leader of the main opposition party on February 27 and leave parliament early next month.

The Jacinda-effect claims another victim with Mr English deciding he's not the man to lead National forward. "It's important that National's new leader has the time and the best possible opportunity to achieve that".

Mr. English, also a former finance minister, led National to an election in September past year that eventually ended the party's almost decadelong incumbency.

"Bill English has made a significant contribution to New Zealand, and he has certainly left his mark on New Zealand's political landscape for generations to come", says Todd. He also wishes to spend more time with his wife Mary and their children. "I am sure the National Party will continue to strengthen", he tweeted.

Speculation had been mounting in recent weeks that English would have to go as National seeks to rejuvenate and develop allies - a key requirement under New Zealand's German-style proportional system.

Mr English served eight years as finance minister before taking the top job.

A major source of concern was the performance and personality of deputy leader Paula Bennett and Mr English's antagonistic relationship with Winston Peters, whom he'd pushed to the brink, making it all-but impossible to form a Coalition government.



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