New Zealand prime minister John Key has announced a shock resignation because of family pressure. Key made the announcement at his weekly press conference this afternoon.
According to New Zealand, The Herald, the prime minister bowed out because his wife Bronagh asked him to do so. Key, his voice shaking with emotion, said he told his Cabinet of his decision this morning.
“This is the hardest decision I’ve ever made and I don’t know what I’ll do next.” Key cited family reasons for leaving, saying the job had required great sacrifices “from those who are dearest to me”.
His wife Bronagh had endured “many lonely nights” and his children Stephie and Max had been put under “extraordinary levels of intrusion”. Key met his wife Bronagh while attending Burnside High School.
The pair married in 1984 and have two children, Stephie and Max. “Bronagh has made a significant sacrifice during my time in politics, and now is the right time for me to take a step back in my career and spend more time at home.”
Bill English is expected to take over as Prime Minister and Steven Joyce is expected to take on the finance role.
The National Party caucus will hold a meeting on December 12 to decide the new party leader and Prime Minister. Key said he would support whoever the caucus chose, but he endorsed Bill English as his replacement.