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Labour: National's Epsom candidate a stitch up

Published: 5:42PM Tuesday July 19, 2011 Source: ONE News

A stitch up is what the Labour Party is labelling National's candidate selection for Epsom.

National has announced former Auckland City Counsellor Paul Goldsmith will go up against Act candidate John Banks.

Goldsmith says he's honoured by the opportunity, and it's something he's wanted for sometime.

"The people of Epsom back the values that the National Party brings to Government. Strong leadership, sensible economic reform, assistance for the vulnerable in tougher times - alongside a plan that keeps debt down and returns us to Budget surplus sooner.

"The impact of this year's devastating earthquake highlights the need for a strong stable National-led Government that will steer us through the recovery and create jobs without leaving a mountain of debt for future generations to repay."

Goldsmith is best known for his a success as a writer, specialising in business, history and biographies. He wrote Banks' biography.

It's been confirmed that Goldsmith will be campaigning only for the party vote, essentially handing the seat to Banks.

"I think the people of Epsom will decide what to do with the electorate vote but the thing that I'm really focusing on is the party vote," he said today.

If Banks wins, Act will return to Parliament with five MPs.

However, Labour MP Grant Robertson says the people of Epsom deserve better.

He says he is sure a lot of them won't appreciate being told they will have an Act MP and deserve a real choice.

"This shows National want to stitch up a with Act and they are doing that at the expense of the people of Epsom who deserve some respect," he said today.

The people of Epsom will make their judgement on November 26.