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Electorate officials 'regret' David Cunliffe's demotion

Published: 7:42AM Thursday November 22, 2012 Source: ONE News

Labour Party officials in David Cunliffe's electorate have expressed full confidence in their MP and regret at his demotion.

The statement by the New Lynn Labour Electorate Committee shows divisions in the party over its leadership spat have not been laid to rest, despite attempts by the party's top brass to shut down the issue.

The Labour caucus on Tuesday unanimously backed David Shearer to remain leader, after weeks of speculation that Cunliffe was making a bid for the job.

Shearer demoted Cunliffe to the back bench and has handed his portfolio of economic development spokesperson to David Parker.

The New Lynn Labour Electorate Committee called a special meeting yesterday and voted unanimously to express its full confidence in its Member of Parliament David Cunliffe.

"While acknowledging that this decision was within the prerogative of the party leader, the LEC noted David's demotion with regret," the committee said in a statement.

"The LEC also resolved to raise with the New Zealand Council of the Labour Party concerns about recent public statements made by Labour's Senior Whip, and the leaking of confidential caucus information by unnamed MPs following Tuesday's emergency caucus meeting," the committee said.

"As these processes are now internal party matters we do not intend making further comment," the statement concluded.

Senior Whip Chris Hipkins said on Monday that Cunliffe had been trying to destabilise Labour's leadership.

"David Cunliffe has been working for some time now to destabilise the current leadership. He worked to destabilise the last leadership. And I think it's time to call him out on that," Hipkins told ONE News.