Rotorua's MP is staying tight-lipped about where his support lies as the race for National's leadership heats up.

MPs Simon Bridges, Judith Collins and Amy Adams have so far all thrown their hats in the ring for the top job following Bill English's decision to step down.

Those still considering a bid are Mark Mitchell, Steven Joyce and Dr Jonathan Coleman.

A spokesman for Rotorua MP Todd McClay said today McClay had no comment on the leadership race.


McClay previously backed English's bid for the leadership following Sir John Key's resignation in December 2016.

Speaking to the Rotorua Daily Post last week before the announcement, McClay said he still supported English and believed he would stay on as leader.

Following English's announcement on Tuesday, McClay declined to address if he was considering a leadership bid, or discuss any potential candidates.

He believed the leadership selection process would be "constructive and calm".

Speculation had been rife that Nikki Kaye and deputy leader Paula Bennett would also seek the leadership, but both women ruled themselves out today.

National Party leader Bill English will leave Parliament on February 27. Photo / File
National Party leader Bill English will leave Parliament on February 27. Photo / File

Bennett said she believed her strength was in the deputy leadership, and she hoped to continue on in that role.

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14 Feb, 2018 8:06am
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Kaye confirmed she was not seeking either the leadership or the deputy leadership.

She was one of several MPs, including Maggie Barry, Chris Bishop, and Tim Macindoe, to join Adams as she announced her candidacy during a press conference this afternoon.

The three declared candidates made their announcements throughout the day - Collins via Twitter, Bridges in a press conference on Parliament's black and white tiles, and Adams in a press conference in Parliament's gardens.

Adams was the only one to announce while flanked by other MPs.

The caucus has two weeks to decide who will replace English before he leaves Parliament on February 27.

His resignation follows a political career that has spanned 27 years and roles ranging from Clutha-Southland MP to Minister of Finance and Prime Minister.