Bill English finally gets to name his own cabinet on Monday. It will be interesting to see what happens to Murray McCully. In February McCully announced his intention to stand down in East Coast Bays and that he would seek a list place, but only if he remained as Minister of Foreign Affairs after the next election. It’s an ultimatum he may have cause to regret.
John Key was Prime Minister when he made it, and he would have been on the National Party Board that selects their top list MPs. McCully may have been confident of his support. Now Bill English is on the board and will have a big say.
It’s the same Bill English who we know – (thanks to Nicky Hager in The Hollow Men) – advised 2005 Leader Don Brash in that “You need to know now that the experienced people you have will NOT work in a government run by McCully. I and others will not tolerate him exercising the same influence he does now.”
There’s no particular reason to keep McCully as Foreign Minister. The TPP is no more, the Saudi payoff was an embarrassment if not worse, and the MFAT reorganisation a classic example of McCully blaming the staff for his own mistakes.
What English does will tell us if he walks his own talk.