The new ACT Leader

Audrey Young reports:

Dr Whyte, 48, has lived for about six of the past 20 years in New Zealand and Mr Seymour, 30, has lived for two of the past seven years in New Zealand.

Both have philosophy degrees and Dr Whyte has been a noted writer and columnist in Britain.

Dr Whyte lives in Herne Bay with his wife, Zainab, originally from west Africa and raised in Belgium, and their two daughters, Rachel, 10, and Khadija, 6.

(The girls attend the same school as the children of leader David Cunliffe.)

Dr Whyte’s first few hours as new leader were marred by Mr Boscawen’s decision to withdraw not only his fundraising services to the party but by his threat to withdraw his own substantial donations, which have been at least $250,000.

Mr Boscawen said he accepted the result, and would remain a member of the party, and sincerely wished Dr Whyte and Mr Seymour every success.

Dr Whyte said he would spend the next month gearing up for his first party conference as leader, work, fundraising “and revving up the members”.

He said his previous writing promoting the legalisation of drugs, for example, had been of greater concern to Mr Boscawen than to the board.

Such a would be attractive to many voters, but not I suspect in Epsom!

Mr Cunliffe said it was ironic that a party that had been “dismissive of academics in Parliament had chosen two academics as their leader and candidate”. Referring to Dr Whyte’s advocacy of legalisation of and getting rid of all labour laws, Mr Cunliffe said “that would put him in the realm of Colin Craig and show that Mr Key really is desperate for coalition partners”.

I’m pretty sure that Colin Craig is not an advocate for legalisation of drugs!

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