The Saskatchewan New Democrats will spend the next week or so looking for a new Interim Leader after Trent Wotherspoon announced on Tuesday he will be stepping down to consider running for the official leadership next May.
Wotherspoon, who as recently as the end of spring sitting at the Legislature, said he wouldn’t be running for the position, adding time away from the legislative session was one of the main reasons for his change of heart.
“After a little bit of space from a legislative session and some time to reflect, I’ve had a lot of people that have reached out to me across the province, I’ve had time with caucus members and I feel I’d regret not giving some consideration to this step,” Wotherspoon told reporters on Tuesday.
He also remained adamant the decision was not something he kept from people for the past year.
Wotherspoon, who will remain on as Interim Leader until a new one is found, also told reporters Ryan Meili’s decision to run had no influence on him now taking the position into consideration.
He added it was caucus that was very influential on his decision, saying they feel very confident moving forward since the budget in March.
- Trent Wotherspoon elected Interim Leader of the Official Opposition in Saskatchewan Legislative Assembly
The NDP have no rule in their party stating an interim leader may not run for official leadership if the opportunity presents itself.
Wotherspoon also said recent polls did not influence his decision.
“I’ve worked awfully hard in various roles when the chips have been down and the polls have been low, and there’s been maybe some marked improvements right now, but that can change as well. Polls will go up polls will go down and there is a lot of work to do as a party so polls don’t factor in,” Wotherspoon said on Tuesday.
A new interim leader for the NDP is expected to be announced in the next week or so.
Wotherspoon, the MLA for Regina-Rosemont, held the position since former NDP Leader Cam Broten lost his seat in the last election.