Finance Minister Bill English has made a rare intervention in Wellington local body politics backing his sister in law for Mayor.
But he says he has done so because he believes she is the best candidate.
However in doing that he has ignored one other candidate with long National Party connections and another who is being backed by the Wellington Chamber of Commerce.
Speaking to a fundraiser last week for Jo Coughlan, who is married to the Minister’s brother, former Federated Farmers CEO, Connor English, the Minister said he wasn’t supporting her because they were related.
“It’s because I think that she’s the best candidate for a city that needs this kind of candidate; someone who understands growth; someone who understands communities and someone who understands families.”
But even so, that such a senior member of the Cabinet has publicly endorsed a Mayoral candidate goes against National Party practice.
And against the express orders of John Key and party whips.