Labour Party leader David Shearer has dumped leadership pretender David Cunliffe from the front-bench to the back row of the Labour benches.
Here’s TV3’s coverage: http://www.3news.co.nz/Shearer-reaffirmed-as-Labour-leader-Cunliffe-demoted/tabid/370/articleID/277431/Default.aspx
Shearer front-footed brewing discontent over his leadership by calling for his MPs to openly endorse him at today’s special caucus meeting. Shearer used the caucus endorsement as a springboard to demote party darling David Cunliffe.
Senior party whip Chris (“Chippie”) Hipkins earlier alleged Cunliffe was openly undermining the party leadership. “Weasel words about supporting the leader for now simply don’t cut it” this had “made it impossible for him to continue in a senior role within the Labour team.”
It’s notable the “Chippie” didn’t have the moxie to ‘callout” Cunliffe until his fate was a cert.
In Shearer’s own words:
“I will be seeking the endorsement of my colleagues for the Labour leadership.
“The endorsement I’m seeking will be in line with the decision made by Labour Party members at this weekend’s conference that I must have at least 60% support of the caucus. A formal endorsement vote will also still be held in February in accordance with the new rules approved by Party members.
“I’m holding this vote to demonstrate that I have the support of my caucus and to put recent speculation to bed. It is important that these matters are resolved so that Labour can lift its sights to focus on the serious challenges facing the country, including jobs, education and housing affordability.”