Who will lead ACT?

ANDREA VANCE
Last updated 13:45 17/01/2014

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ACT's rival leadership contenders are facing a dilemma.

President John Boscawen last night declared he wanted to lead the party and seek the Epsom seat nomination. Journalist and management consultant Jamie Whyte had already put his hand up for the top job.

The pair insist there is no animosity, but Whyte is signalling one of the rivals may yet concede for the good of the party.

The board is due to select the leader at a meeting early next month. Boscawen has temporarily stood aside as president.

"It is possible that before it gets to that point we may settle out of court, so to speak," Whyte told Fairfax Media this morning.

"[I'm] certainly not [conceding] yet ... but I want to get a lot more reaction from people ... It's important, given what has been going on over recent years, people see that ACT is a functional and united group of people.

"On the other hand, I can see why some board members might see [a withdrawal from the contest] as annoying because you are robbing them of a choice."

After a few years of turmoil, a bitter leadership coup and a dismal 2011 election result, ACT promised to reinvigorate itself.

However, sole MP and leader John Banks has been felled by a donations scandal. He announced his retirement at a press conference in December.

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- © Fairfax NZ News

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