Something still rotten in Labour caucus

David Shearer dealt to David Cunliffe yesterday, saying “I no longer have confidence in him. He has lost my trust.”

It was also reported:

It is understood Mr Shearer is balancing the need to further stamp his authority with the requirement to reunify his caucus.

Meanwhile, he has clamped down on any dissent emerging after yesterday’s caucus meeting, winning a resolution by MPs that he would be the only one to speak about it.

But this morning in the NZ Herald:

Cunliffe denies disloyalty to end

An apparently unrepentant David Cunliffe is understood to have tried to persuade his Labour caucus colleagues he had not acted to undermine David Shearer’s leadership when defending himself in a brutal caucus meeting yesterday.

Mr Shearer stripped Mr Cunliffe of his fifth rank and portfolios and sent him to the backbenches yesterday for disloyalty after Mr Shearer sought and received an unanimous endorsement from his caucus colleagues.

Mr Shearer called the urgent caucus meeting after the party’s annual conference last weekend, during which Mr Cunliffe repeatedly refused to rule out challenging Mr Shearer and refused to pledge to endorse him in the future.

Sources said Mr Cunliffe angered some MPs in yesterday’s caucus meeting by trying to explain his actions away and deny he was trying to mount a leadership challenge.

In return, he was given a brutal drubbing by many of his colleagues in the meeting, described by one MP as “sobering”, and from which Mr Cunliffe emerged looking rattled.

He later said he was not able to comment because caucus had decided that only Mr Shearer would speak on the matter.

As far as I’m aware Cunliffe has honoured the resolution not to talk about the caucus meeting. He has been quoted several times pointing out he can’t talk about it, and has said so in TV interviews.

At least one Labour MP (and probably more) have not honoured the resolution.

Will Shearer question his trust of them and do something about it?

It seems that some in the Labour caucus have learned nothing from this debacle and are openly flouting caucus agreements. This sort of leaking is one of the things that’s sinking Labour. If the captain does nothing about it he will go down with the ship.



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