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Senior National MP Judith Collins says she has full support for the "National Party leader" but has refused to say the words "I support Simon Bridges as National Leader".
Speaking to media this morning, Collins also would not rule out a leadership bid – saying only that she had "no plans" to be the National leader "today, or in the near future that I'm aware of".
The Papakura MP was this morning asked repeatedly if she supported National Leader Simon Bridges but refused to say the words "I support Simon Bridges as Leader of the National Party".
"I always support the leader. Simon has been voted in as the leader so of course."
Asked if she would say she was loyal to Simon Bridges, Collins instead said: "I am loyal to the National Party".
"The National Party, of course, is not a cult and I always support the leader and he was chosen as the leader just over a year ago, so I absolutely support him."
When pressed, she would not say the words 'I support Simon Bridges'.
"I can say anything I like, really. But I do know that I'm very, very clear that I'm a good, loyal National Party supporter and always have been.
"I'm loyal to my caucus and to the leader – Simon is the leader so of course I support him."
Asked why she couldn't say the words 'I support Simon Bridges,' she said "it's not a personal thing".