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Roy Returns But ACT's Strife Isn't Over

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Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media
Roy Returns But ACT's Strife Isn't Over

The ACT Party has some high stress caucus meetings ahead of it despite ousted deputy leader Heather Roy's assurances that she is going to get along just fine with her colleagues.

The party has been through an agonising 10 days since Mrs Roy was dumped and her explosive 82-page testimony against leader Rodney Hide was leaked to the media.

She went on leave to think about her future, but made a surprise appearance in Parliament yesterday which caught the rest of the caucus off its guard.

Mrs Roy, oozing sweetness and light, told reporters she and Mr Hide could rise above the obviously intense ill-feeling between them and work for the good of the party.

Mr Hide, who on Monday indicated he didn't think she would return and was sounding out a replacement MP, avoided the media and issued a three-line statement saying the next step was for Mrs Roy to front up to caucus and the party's board "concerning the developments of the last week".

Mrs Roy said she wasn't going to have a problem with loyalty to Mr Hide or the MP who replaced her as deputy leader, John Boscawen.

But she didn't resile from the comments in her leaked documents, which included accusations that Mr Hide bullied her and had tried to undermine her when she was an associate defence minister.

"There's nothing in there that I understand to be untrue," she said.

While the party's five MPs struggle to get their act together, unrest is evident within its ranks outside Parliament.

List candidate Peter Tashkoff has announced he will challenge Mr Hide for the Epsom nomination at next year's election.

"My opinion is that Rodney Hide is a liability to the ACT Party, a failure as a leader and that he has got to go," Mr Tashkoff said.

Prime Minister John Key, meanwhile, says ACT is still a solid partner for the Government and its five votes are reliable.

"They are clearly going through some issues but they are dealing with those issues and in the end it's for them to sort out who is their leader and deputy leader," he said.

NZPA

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