Little says Labour would welcome Leggett back

Labour leader Andrew Little says that Nick Leggett would be welcomed back into Labour, despite describing Leggett as “a right-wing candidate”.

When Leggett resigned from the Labour Party so he could stand for the Wellington mayoralty against a Labour candidate Little was not amused.

Labour MPs forbidden from associating with “right-wing” Wellington mayoral candidate

And he’s making it clear he considers Nick Leggett, a former Labour Party member, a right-winger.

“His campaign manager is well-known ACT party identity. We know that there’s money from the right-wing that has gone into his campaign. He’s a right-wing candidate.”

Wellington Mayoral candidate Nick Leggett appears to be public enemy number one for the Labour Party as its MPs are forbidden from associating with him.

Labour Leader Andrew Little has pulled rank, preventing MP Stuart Nash from speaking at an event where Mr Leggett was also speaking.

Mr Little said the event was for right-wingers who have routinely sought to undermine the Labour Party and it’s not right for a Labour MP to share a platform with people who do that.

Now Labour’s Justin Lester has beaten Leggett in the mayoralty Little seems to have changed his views, or at least his public stance.

NZ Herald  in Another contender in fight for Mt Roskill:

Former Porirua mayor Nick Leggett would be welcome back into the Labour fold as someone with a “big future ahead of him”, Labour leader Andrew Little says.

“Nick is a talented guy…whether he just saw an opportunity for those who wanted to back him for mayor against a Labour candidate, who knows,” Little said, after Labour-endorsed Justin Lester was confirmed as mayor last night.

“He is a talented guy and he has got a big future ahead of him. But he has got to work with people who can organise for his success.”

Leggett resigned from Labour – which he joined at age 15 – just before announcing his nomination for Wellington mayor as an independent.

In that way he avoided being expelled because it against the rules for members to stand against endorsed candidates.

Little made an attack on Leggett in August, saying his campaign was being run by an Act identity and that his campaign was being funded by “right-wingers.”

Leggett took issue with that description, saying he was a moderate who was “pro-enterprise” but also a strong advocate for social issues while mayor of Porirua.

He believed Little’s comments reflected the fact there was a “purge” going on within Labour to rid itself of members considered “right wing”.

It sounds like both Leggett and Little were not happy at all with each other.

So what now for Leggett? Will he “work with people who can organise for his success”? If he rejoins Labour and puts himself forward as a candidate next year it would be interesting to see where he was placed on the Labour list.

This is an odd flip flop from Little. Is it a genuine attempt at conciliation? Or is it an attempt to stop Leggett looking around at other parties?

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1 Comment

  1. Gezza

     /  10th October 2016

    Looks to me like Andy might be looking for some votes from the centre that he said he didn’t need.

    Reply

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