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Shearer reaffirmed as Labour leader, Cunliffe demoted

Tuesday 20 Nov 2012 4:57 p.m.

David Shearer has been reaffirmed as leader of the Labour Party this afternoon after a “unanimous endorsement” from his caucus.

And the man who wouldn’t rule out challenging him, David Cunliffe, has been stripped of his portfolios and front bench seat, and sent to the backbenches.

“David Cunliffe’s actions have been disappointing and I no longer have confidence in him - he doesn't have my trust,” Mr Shearer told media this afternoon.  

"Ultimately, what I see this as is moving us forward. As a leader, this was necessary for us to move forward.”

Mr Shearer says he wants to put the leadership challenge behind him and move on, and is confident he can again win the vote in February.

“I have full confidence that there is no issue there.”

Mr Shearer called the meeting yesterday to put leadership problems to bed and seek an endorsement of confidence from his colleagues.

Today, he says he got that endorsement and his party can move forward.

The ordeal comes after Mr Cunliffe failed to rule out a challenge to Mr Shearer’s leadership at the party’s weekend conference, which overshadowed policy announcements.

Voting protocol for the leadership was changed at the conference, meaning a party-wide vote on the leader would be prompted if 40 percent of caucus voted against an incumbent.

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