Labour's first caucus meeting after the parliamentary
recess is likely to be an uncomfortable one for leader David
Shearer after comments he made about sickness beneficiaries in
a speech last week.
The controversial comments have revealed a sense of
disgruntlement within the party and questions about the
Labour caucus's discipline and leadership.
Mr Shearer has been under fire after he opened a speech to
Auckland Grey Power with a story about a constituent who
complained about a neighbour - a sickness beneficiary who
went up a ladder to paint a roof.
Mr Shearer didn't say whether the story had been verified, if
the man was in fact a sickness beneficiary, or the nature of
"I have little tolerance for people who don't pull their
weight", Mr Shearer said in his speech.
Labour Party members have complained after Mr Shearer posted
a copy of the speech on his Facebook page.
A string of comments from Labour stalwarts bagging his speech
were posted online and Labour sources have said Mr Shearer
will be taken to task at caucus tomorrow.
Caucus members would not comment before the meeting but
agreed they would have a lot to discuss - including Mangere
MP Su'a William Sio's public attack on Louisa Wall's gay
marriage bill and allegations that Labour MPs actively
dislike David Cunliffe.
- By Kate Shuttleworth of APNZ