English quoted "personal" reason for his decision and intention to follow his predecessors to venture into businesses. He intends to deliver a valedictory speech in Parliament on March 1.
After being in the job for 27 years and 18 months in politics, English led the National Party through last September's election winning 44.4 percent of the votes as the first runner in the race. The ruling party, however, lost to a 36.9 percent voter support Labor party due to lack of strong political allies and the country's mixed-member proportional (MMP) system.
Allegations of his departure have been around Beehive, the Congress of the country, but denied by English recently.