Seymour to seek Act nomination for Epsom

David Seymour, left, on the campaign trail with John Banks. Photo / Janna Dixon
David Seymour, left, on the campaign trail with John Banks. Photo / Janna Dixon
Former Act on Campus leader and John Banks staffer David Seymour has changed his mind and will now seek the party's nomination for the key Epsom seat, he has confirmed.

Mr Seymour who has been based in Canada initially ruled himself out of contention when current Act Leader and Epsom MP John Banks said late last year he would not seek the nomination given the court action he is facing over electoral finance charges.

However he said today that having returned to New Zealand for the Christmas break and finding "a very positive vibe" around Act he decided he would indeed seek the nomination.

"A good local MP is someone who works hard, makes themselves accessible and stands up for the people in their electorate. I've grown up around Act in politics I've watched Rodney and John Banks do that and one of the things I want to do in the next 10 months or so to the election is work hard to demonstrate to Epsom people that I'm committed to being a good local MP."

Party President John Boscawen has indicated he believes Act has a shot at winning Epsom even without a "cup of tea" accommodation with National.

But that, said Mr Seymour, was up to the people of Epsom.

"What we can do is work hard to show I'm going to be the best possible MP and show also that Epsom could be the difference between continuing a good stable centre right Government or having David Cunliffe and Russel Norman taking the country God knows where."

At this stage the only other confirmed contender for the nomination is management consultant and former Cambridge University philosophy lecturer Jamie Whyte with whom Mr Seymour met today for coffee.

Mr Whyte has said he will also seek the Act leadership which Mr Banks will give up at the party's annual meeting in March.

Mr Seymour said he would support Mr Whyte's bid for that job.

Mr Boscawen this morning said it was important he remained neutral in commenting about those seeking the nomination but added that Mr Seymour had demonstrated he was very capable and talented young man during his time with Act on Campus a decade ago and during the year he worked for Mr Banks in Parliament after the last election working on key policies including partnership schools.

- Adam Bennett of the New Zealand Herald

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