Labour MPs react to anti-Cunliffe claims
Tuesday 14 Aug 2012 4:27 p.m.
It was a question Labour MPs loved to avoid today: Why does the party hate David Cunliffe so much?
The question, sparked by 3 News Political Editor Duncan Garner’s recent blog, had the party’s caucus ducking-and-diving, with MPs denying dissension in the ranks.
The blog pointed to in-fighting and suggested many of Labour’s hierarchy wanted Mr Cunliffe banished.
Garner says Labour's MPs distrusted Mr Cunliffe, thought he was lazy, and wanted to start a trust fund to keep him overseas.
Before their weekly caucus meeting, 3 News political reporters Patrick Gower and Tova O’Brien asked several Labour MPs what they thought of the claims.
Mr Cunliffe, who has recently returned from an overseas trip, refused to address the allegations.
“I’m back and I’m refreshed and I’m ready to take the fight to the Government with our team,” he says.
Labour leader David Shearer stood behind Mr Cunliffe when asked about the allegations, and said he “wasn’t going to go there”.
Deputy leader Grant Robinson said the party didn’t hate Mr Cunliffe, and David Parker said the entire ordeal was “rubbish”.
Jacinda Ardern, Charles Chauvel and Trevor Mallard refused to comment on the issue.