David Shearer. Photo by Getty
Labour leader David Shearer says the display of David
Cunliffe's leadership ambitions at last week's party conference
was "disloyal" and destroyed trust he had in his MP.
Mr Shearer said he wanted to move on from the leadership
debate that arose last weekend and he had the full support of
Mr Cunliffe was demoted to the back bench and stripped of his
portfolios after attempting to undermine Mr Shearer's
Mr Shearer told TVNZ's Q + A programme today that the
leadership question "came to a head" at the conference.
"Unfortunately what happened was we had a very, very
successful conference that was overshadowed by David Cunliffe
talking about leadership and not being able to loyal to me as
the leader, that's why I took the action I did.
"As far as I'm concerned, I'm ruling a line under it and
we're moving on from here."
He said he was "dismayed" to see Mr Cunliffe acting
"I don't feel I can trust him and as a result of that I have
demoted him to the backbenches and we are moving on from
Mr Shearer said at Tuesday's caucus meeting 100 per cent of
the MPs endorsed his leadership.
"That's about as good as it gets."
Labour MPs have been gagged from speaking about Mr Cunliffe's
punishment, with Mr Shearer appointing himself as the sole
spokesperson on the issue.
But there has been anger from some of Mr Cunliffe supporters
on Facebook and the Standard blog as well as calls for MPs
who had publicly criticised Mr Cunliffe to also be punished.
One of Mr Cunliffe's New Lynn electorate committee members,
Greg Presland, said the committee had concerns about the
demotion and the criticisms by other MPs, such as the chief
whip Chris Hipkins.