The Herald reports:
Transport Minister Simon Bridges has declared his bid for Deputy Prime Minister this afternoon.
He has also endorsed Bill English for Prime Minister.
At a press conference this afternoon, Bridges said English would continue the stability of the John Key-led National Government.
He said that as Deputy Prime Minister, he would provide the “change and rejuvenation part of the equation”.
Bridges said he was confident English would win the leadership race and he had not yet considered being part of another ticket.
The “whole premise” of his bid was an English-Bridges leadership, he said.
Bridges is the only declared contender for Deputy PM at the moment. His public endorsement of English brings his total to 10 – Key, Tolley, Parata, Bridges, Upston, Woodhouse, Guy, N Smith, Kaye and Korako. There are 59 MPs, so taking aside the three candidates that is 46 yet to declare. Some may never publicly declare their preferences of course.
UPDATE: Paula Bennett has now declared she will also seek the Deputy Leadership and has endorsed Bill English for leader.
So if English wins, the two contenders (so far) for Deputy are Bennett and Bridges. Both from West Auckland and both are Maori.