Colin Craig's shock over sudden resignation

PARTED WAYS: Rachel MacGregor (inset) had worked with the Conservatives and Colin Craig since the last election.
PARTED WAYS: Rachel MacGregor (inset) had worked with the Conservatives and Colin Craig since the last election.

Conservative Party leader Colin Craig is feeling confident for Saturday despite losing a key staff member this morning in a shock resignation.

The party's press secretary Rachel MacGregor's resigned immediately, reportedly calling Craig a "manipulative man".

It's understood MacGregor's move was the result of professional differences with Craig.

Craig was unaware of the news until questioned about it by media - he thought she was having the morning off.

Craig said he was shocked and hadn't received a "formal resignation" from MacGregor, adding that he was in the dark about why she left.

He said he genuinely had no idea why she'd said what she did, but insisted "it's business as usual for us".

He said she had done an outstanding job.  

"Of course we want her to be part of celebrations on Saturday night - she's worked so hard for that ."

MacGregor had been with him for three years and he credited her for turning him from a "media novice" into someone more relaxed with the cameras.

He had tried to contact MacGregor but hadn't heard from her.

"I've just got to really find out and get to the bottom of it and hopefully we'll be able to have that conversation today," Craig said.

"Until I've had the conversation with her and found out the issues I can only judge her on the job she's done."

Two days out from the election Craig didn't think the controversy would hurt his campaign.

"I don't think it's going to make a difference for the voter because ultimately they're not voting for our team they're voting for our candidates and our candidates are fantastic people and a strong team.

"I'm not at all concerned about that ."

The Conservatives climbed to 3.6 per cent support in the latest Stuff-Ipsos poll and are a strong prospect of entering Parliament after the election on Saturday.

Stuff