Shearer keeps Labour leadership – Cunliffe stripped

David Shearer gets unanimous support (Photo: TV3 News)

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.

He has not demoted anyone else and says at this stage he has no plans to. He says he will spend the next few days speaking his caucus about the party's leadership and its future.

Mr Shearer will not talk about what was said in the hour-long caucus meeting but says it was a robust discussion, in which people spoke "very, very frankly."

He says he told Mr Cunliffe before the caucus meeting of his intention to demote him but would not give details of the conversation,

Mr Shearer says he is confident of his abilities as opposition leader and says more announcements will be made soon.

"We'll be making a temporary announcement about the economic development portfolio in the next few days....a wider change will be announced at a later stage."


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David Cunliffe will hardly be crying

Parliament closes in a week or two and doesn't resume until February when he may challenge Shearer
The reality is that there will be plenty of time for party faithful to lobby MP's over the summer break and the party faithful may put pressure on sitting MP's that their seats are not quite as safe as they might think - come time for the local electorates to chose their candidates for the 2014 election.

The battle has only just begun - Cunliffe can now go away for the Xmas break relaxed while Shearer and his motly bunch will be fair bogging themselves not knowing what might transpire.

Whether they like it or not the party members run the party not the MP's


A bit hard to lobby in Feb when 1/2 of the Labour Party MP's are at Mardi Gras in New Orleans and the other 1/2 are still lying on the beaches of Northland and the Coromandel.


Now come on - they're all good socialists - I'm sure they'll be working for the poor unfortunates somewhere - not drinking chard while the rest of us try to earn a living.


the short term view on the entire labour leadership debacle is actually irrelevant. the point is does any of their leadership have a proposition beyond wealth transfer, tax n take for anyone (as a whole)? no. not a bean. nothing. clueless. empty. nostaligic.

labours entire demise, involving a mix of over aged deeply vexed clueless anger-trough-monsters, symbolises a struggle against reality where any policy message, in line with their rotten principles, remains stuck in end to end bad news for pretty much everyone (except the usual short term electoral decoys and bribes). labour (and the greens for that matter) entire existence is like to get folk to eat a dollop of dung whilst telling them it's a tasty pie.

shearer is lettuce. cunliffe nasty. I mean...standing on a bus raving n ranting in a desperate bid to get votes.. ...are signs of a desperate deranged looney who should never take the labour leadership (as misguided as it is) let alone become a credible international PM....and that is not to say National have performed any better (ETS hoax in mind).

however, national's new brand of global-socialism aside you could have storming nutcase norman n mr lettuce in a cohort of control come 2014.


Labour are hopeless. Notice, Shearer bumbling with his interview, saying 2015 when he meant 2013. The guy is permanently concussed.


We have one of the best labour partys in power already. Why worry about David Shearer.


David Shearer will be a Great Leader for this Nation


The Labour Party is undergoing a transformation -- morphing into Team Key.


David Cunliffe will triumph. Give him time.


The National Party would love that. David Cunliffe is unelectable. If after two leadership attempts he can't win over his own party how on earth would he win a general election.

If he does win the leadership in February Labour's leadership struggles will go on for years...


if he doesn't win the leadership in February Liarrbour's leadership struggles will also go on for years...


The Labour party are well established in NZ. This is not the end for them at al. In time they will find a leader who can rebuilld the party, although there's no-one obvious at present.


yeah but, what is this new leadership gonna say to everyone: "hey, look everyone...good ole socialism rocks!" or something?

The problem is National have captured the market on that one and squeezed labour out by proxy.


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