Trent Wotherspoon announced he is stepping down as the NDP interim leader to take time to consider running for leadership permanently. 

Wotherspoon made the announcement in caucus Tuesday afternoon.

He started serving as interim leader of the NDP when Cam Broten stepped down after the party lost last year's provincial election.

Wotherspoon had repeatedly denied having interest in running for the permanent job in the past. 

"I recognize that in politics, our word matters, and I don't take this lightly," said Wotherspoon to reporters after he made the announcement. 

"I know that in considering this that I will deal with difficult challenges on this front."

Wotherspoon said the change of heart came with a change in circumstance.

He said he came to the decision to consider running after some reflection, and because he was urged by colleagues and residents across the province to consider the run.

"I'm in a different space; we're in a different space now as a party. The stakes are incredibly high for our province, for the people of our province," said Wotherspoon. 

The party's constitution does not prohibit an interim leader from seeking the permanent role as leader. 

Wotherspoon has given no timeline for when he will make his final decision regarding running for leadership. He expects the party to be able to chose a new interim leader within the week.

The NDP permanent leadership race will happen in May 2018.