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Shearer denies no-confidence letter amid Twitter hijinks

Labour leader responds to Duncan Garner's tweet attack.

NBR staff
Wed, 10 Jul 2013

David Shearer says reports of an imminent Labour leadership coup are nothing more than a "bunch of rumours".

"This is truly bizarre. Duncan Garner tweeted that somehow there was a letter circulating against me," Mr Shearer told Firstline this morning.

"We found, of course, that there was no letter.

"The story got even more bizarre when it was announced Paddy Gower was going to show this letter on Nightline.

"We rang Paddy Gower and he was in his pajamas at home."

(Notably, TV3 political editor Gower - often vocal on social media - remained silent throughout. He tweeted first thing Wednesday morning, "Just catching up on last night's tweets. Obviously wasn't on Nightline & don't have letter!")

It was "patently false," to say he faced a leadership challenge, Mr Shearer said.

Duncan Garner - a RadioLive presenter and cohost of TV's The Vote - tweeted at 9.05pm last night:

Challenged by Labour MPs Trevor Mallard and Grant Robertson to produce evidence, Mr Garner said his source was inside Labour's caucus.

He added, "Just saying what's happening now. Little, Robertson, Cunliffe all in [the] mix."

The reporter stuck by his story, after Mr Robertson tweeted "I have now confirmed with the whole Caucus. There is no letter. This is just made up.  Apology?"

Mr Garner responded, "You're being lied to Grant. I can't apologise for that."

As with any social media flame war, dignity was in short supply.

Mr Mallard told Mr Garner "you look like a prize dick" for not producing evidence on Nightline.

Mr Garner responded, "Almost went to sleep then knuckles Mallard popped up talking about honesty... I'm trying to stop laughing."


NBR staff
Wed, 10 Jul 2013
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Shearer denies no-confidence letter amid Twitter hijinks