Spat over Parliament's next Speaker
Tuesday 29 Jan 2013 12:18 p.m.
Labour has slammed the Government's preference of Parliament's new Speaker, saying they weren't consulted and the wrong person has been nominated.
The National Party have put forward Primary Industries Minister David Carter to replace Lockwood Smith as the person to referee the debating chamber.
But Labour leader David Shearer says the Government is flouting convention and failed to consult his party about Mr Carter’s appointment.
“You need a Speaker that has confidence across the House. David Carter doesn’t seem to have any real enthusiasm for the job.”
Mr Shearer says he doesn’t think Mr Carter has a grasp on the rules but hopes to be proven wrong.
“It is very simple; have David Carter come over and have a chat to us. We can ask him why he wants to become Speaker, the kind of qualifications he brings to the job and if he’s keen to do it – easy,” he says.
Prime Minister John Key says Labour was consulted, but not officially.
“We did have an informal conversation with them through the back door but they made it pretty clear that they didn’t want to support David Carter."
Mr Key says Labour told him they wanted to support another minister, Maurice Williamson.
But Labour says Mr Key is wrong and there was communication from National about their preferred choice of Speaker.
“There’s been no approach to me whatsoever. Nobody from the National Party has approached us,” says Mr Shearer.
David Carter has the support of the Green Party, it is understood.
A vote will be held on Thursday.