Steve Joyce is a precious little man. He has quit politics and Simon Bridges says it wasn’t because he gave Joyce’s job to Amy Adams.
National Party leader Simon Bridges does not think MP Steven Joyce retired because he missed out on the finance portfolio, which is now going to Amy Adams.
Joyce was told he was not getting finance spokesman before he announced his retirement from Parliament yesterday.
“I had a number of really good conversations with Steven about this, and my position was I did have finance for Amy, but that he was someone who I knew would do an incredibly strong job in a bunch of other areas and he could effectively have a choice of portfolios in other areas,” Bridges said at a press conference in Tauranga this afternoon.
He was re-announcing his appointment of Amy Adams as his finance spokeswoman and the third-ranked MP on his front bench, which he had already revealed earlier today.
The appointment comes ahead of Bridges’ main reshuffle, which is expected next week, and he said it was to show that the economy remained National’s top priority.
Bridges was asked by a reporter if Joyce knew he was not getting the finance portfolio before retiring. He said yes and that he did not think the decision caused Joyce to resign.
“Ultimately Steven has decided not because of that but for his own reasons in terms of his family and getting back out into the world of commerce and the opportunities that are there.”
Bridges said Joyce was a loss for the party, both as a colleague and as a friend.
“I wish him all the really best for his future. I know that I’ll be able to call on him for really good advice, given his experience both in the economy but also in relation to our campaigns, having done such a successful job for us as campaign manager over successive elections.”
The appointment will pit Amy Adams against Finance Minister Grant Robertson.
The real reason is that Joyce was told he would no longer be sitting on the front bench. There are 13 spots there but, in reality, only the first ten count. His position wasn’t going to be there, so he got the pip and quit.
Adams was considered Bridges’ nearest rival in the leadership contest.
At the press conference this afternoon, Bridges said he did not expect any more resignations over the next few days and in the lead up to more announcements.
But he said over time and over the course of this Parliament, “you will see other retirements from the National Party caucus”.
“But I wouldn’t expect a whole lot of them.
But we are Simo. We are expecting a whole lot of resignations. Let’s start with David Carter, Chris Finlayson (he looks like he has already checked out and is thinking of an insurance career), Nicky Wagner plus a few more who should be encouraged to go sooner rather than later.
Meanwhile the next signal that Simon Bridges has an iron grip on the leadership needs to be the rinsing of a lesser MP. He’s already orchestrated the cutting of Joyce’s throat, now a back bencher needs some pain to show that he means business. My pick would be the biggest leaker in caucus and one of the biggest egos, Chris Bishop. He was on the wrong side of the leadership debate and he wilfully breached agreed rules and stood behind Amy Adams in her failed bid, so I reckon he needs a shit job and a low ranking.
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