Ardern says she slept soundly ‘for the first time in a long time,’ as colleagues in New Zealand deplore her treatment as PM and race begins to replace her

Jacinda Ardern speaks to the media a day after announcing her resignation as prime minister of New Zealand
Jacinda Ardern speaks to the media a day after announcing her resignation as prime minister of New Zealand. Photograph: Ben Mckay/EPA

Jacinda Ardern has said she slept soundly after her shock resignation “for the first time in a long time”, as speculation grows that abuse and threats against the prime minister contributed to her stepping down.

Speaking briefly with reporters outside Hawke’s Bay airport on Friday, Ardern said she was feeling “a range of emotions” and had no regrets about leaving the job.

“I of course feel sad – but also I do have a sense of relief.”

On Thursday, the prime minister said abuse or threats to her and her family had not been a decisive factor in her decision to resign, and that she simply “no longer [had] enough in the tank to do it justice”.

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