Bill English is officially New Zealand's next Prime Minister

trending 08/12/2016

Jonathan Coleman has dropped out of National's leadership race leaving Bill English unopposed to replace John Key as Prime Minister and party leader.

Mr Coleman says he has called Bill English to congratulate him on winning the leadership.

The Health Minister made his announcement in Parliament on Thursday afternoon.

Judith Collins withdrew from the race earlier on Thursday to back Mr English.

"It is clear to me that 50 percent of the caucus support Bill as leader, and so as far as I'm concerned he has won", Ms Collins said.

At today's Budget update, Mr English named Steven Joyce as his successor should he be given the top job.

"If I am elected leader of the National Party, Steven Joyce will be the Finance Minister," he says.

He says Mr Joyce is the most capable person for the job.

The battle for deputy leader is still on between Transport Minister Simon Bridges and Social Housing Minister Paula Bennett.

Mr Bridges believes he's the "change and rejuvenation" to Bill English's "strength and stability" in his bid to be deputy.

Ms Bennett says she has a "richness of experience" and "a fantastic relationship with Bill, I've worked really well with him for many years".

"He's a Southland farmer and I'm an Auckland city girl and I think that we'd make a good combo."

National's caucus are set to vote for their new leader and deputy on December 12.

Source: Newshub