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Paula Bennett could lose deputy leader role

Newshub logoNewshub 14/02/2018 Anna Bracewell-Worrall
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National is keeping a tight lid on whether Paula Bennett's job as deputy leader is at risk.

With leadership contenders emerging on Wednesday morning, Ms Bennett announced she's not in the running to be leader but would quite like to stick around as an experienced deputy leader.

But there's a question mark over whether a change in leadership will mean the deputy leader does the switcharoo too. It could be that a deputy leader is selected to provide a counter-balance to the leader.

National is sworn to secrecy over how the leadership process will work and how a decision will be made on the deputy leader.

Chief whip Jami-Lee Ross told Newshub that unlike other parties, National doesn't have a written process in its constitution that would guide the leadership vote process.

"The caucus will determine the process at some point before there is a leadership vote, but that's confidential to the caucus, and we'll discuss the process further down the track," he told Newshub.

When asked whether it's possible Ms Bennett's job as deputy leader could be up for a vote, Mr Ross said it's not for him to comment on.

"It's for the caucus to determine its own process, and I'll repeat again: the process is confidential to the caucus."

Ms Bennett expressed her desire to hold on to the role in a Facebook post on Wednesday morning.

"I will not be seeking the National Party leadership, I believe it's in my role as deputy where I have the most to add. Our new leader will need help from an experienced, loyal deputy and I offer that," she wrote.

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