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National Party leader Don Brash has stood down.
He made the announcement at a news conference on Thursday afternoon, and thanked his wife, chief of staff and all those who have advised him in his three years as party leader.
He was expected to clear the way for a controversial book on the party to be published.
The book by Nicky Hager was blocked by an injunction taken out last week by Brash, to stop stolen emails from being made public. It contains some of those emails which Hager claims were leaked to him by party insiders.
Hager says the book will show the National Party was saying one thing to the public during last year's election campaign but doing the opposite.
Prior to the announcement a political commentator said even if the injunction was lifted the damage had already been done to Brash.
As expected, a smiling John Key emerged from National's special caucus meeting on Monday as the party's new leader and his deputy is Bill English.
National is selling it as the dream team but critics say it is a disaster waiting to happen. Both men went into the ballot unopposed and analysts say the pair in their forties give the party a new, young look.
Don Brash, 66, quit the leadership after three years on Thursday, because of what he called corrosive speculation about his future.
While Key is being warmly welcomed to the role of party leader, the response to English as deputy is less than enthusiastic.