Always a staunch supporter of NDP party leader Adrian Dix, Nelson-Creston MLA Michelle Mungall still backs the politician who resigned this week.
“It’s very clear that Adrian put the needs of the party first and foremost and he believes our party needs some renewal and so he’s stepping down to make that happen,” she said. “I think that shows tremendous character.”
The leader of the NDP announced Wednesday he will lead the party into next year but hopes he will be replaced by mid-2014.
Dix said the NDP’s loss to the BC Liberals in the May provincial election is his responsibility.
“It has become clear to me that the best interests of our party mean that I need to step aside for a new leader who can lead us to victory in 2017,” Dix told a news conference.
Mungall isn’t placing blame for that election loss that she still calls “disappointing.” She says the caucus is grateful for Dix’s leadership and it’s time to move forward.
Port Coquitlam MLA Mike Farnworth, who finished second to Dix in the 2011 leadership race, has told reporters he is considering making another run for the top job. Juan de Fuca MLA John Horgan, the third-place finisher in 2011, is another rumoured contender.
Mungall wouldn’t say who she’d like to see run and isn’t backing anyone until their hat is officially tossed into the ring.
“We’ll see what happens,” she said.
She is looking forward to the debate a leadership race will stimulate among her party and says it will bring strength to the NDP.
“That will generate an excellent debate of ideas about where to take the party and we’ll see what that debate yields and what the membership decides,” she said.
– with files from Tom Fletcher