Shearer keeps Labour leadership – Cunliffe stripped
David Shearer remains Labour’s leader after a unanimous support vote this afternoon.
Economic development spokesman David Cunliffe has been stripped of portfolios and dismissed to the back bench.
MPs were summoned to an emergency caucus 4pm meeting to endorse his leadership after fears Mr Cunliffe would challenge for the leadership.
However, today’s vote was a foregone conclusion, after Mr Cunliffe indicated he would be backing Mr Shearer in this vote.
Mr Cunliffe has yet to say if his support will extend to the party’s leadership review in February, when, under new party rules, a challenger needs the support of just 14 of Labour’s 34 MPs to trigger a review.
A grim-faced Mr Shearer arrived at the meeting alongside deputy Grant Robertson for the vote.
Moments earlier Mr Cunliffe made his entrance from another door, quietly and alone.
Chief party whip Chris Hipkins left the caucus room soon after, and shortly returned.
Mr Shearer has not closed the door on a David Cunliffe comeback in the future but says the demotion was necessary.