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Race on for Act Party leadership

Published: 2:36PM Saturday January 18, 2014 Source: ONE News

The work on picking the man the Act Party hopes will see it safely back in Parliament is beginning in earnest.

There is now a race for the right to fight for the all-important Epsom Electorate since party president and former MP John Boscawen entered the fray.

Just last month Mr Boscawen ruled out a return to politics, however in an about-turn on Thursday he said he wanted to lead the party.

"We must rebuild our previous support and parliamentary representation and I believe that I am the best person to lead the party into the 2014 election," he said.

"Just as importantly it is critical for New Zealand's future that we do."

David Seymour and Jamie White are also in the running for Act's Epsom candidacy and party leadership.

"They're both very smart people, I believe their best chances of getting into parliament are if I lead the Act party back to parliament," says Mr Boscawen.

"It's not the image of a contest, it is a real contest, it is real choice for our board and real competition. But I'm also doing it because I believe I'm the best person," he says.

Mr Boscawen has been involved with the Act Party for 17 years and has appeal.

And a familiar face in control of the beleaguered party might be welcomed by Prime Minster John Key who may have to deal after the election with the unknown Colin Craig and Winston Peters, who he has ruled out working with in the past.

Meanwhile, John Banks' looming trial in which he is accused of knowingly filing a false electoral return will see Act's sole MP quit the leadership in March and politics at the election.

Act's inner circle will begin discussions at millionaire businessman Alan Gibbs farm today, with the winner to be announced by the start of February.