Jones denies NZ First defection claims

Shane Jones.
Shane Jones.
Labour MP Shane Jones has denied he is defecting to New Zealand First.

Political pundit Matthew Hooton floated the scenario in a column today in the National Business Review, saying the maverick MP was becoming ever more indiscreet and he sees his recent behaviour as a pretext to either leave Labour or be expelled.

Hooton claimed Labour's rainbow division, unions and women's council all loathe Jones and he despises the Greens.

And he wrote that Jones sees himself and Winston Peters as "two Maori boys from the North" who could hold the balance of power between National and a Labour-Green coalition.

Hooton said the plan would be for Peters, who will be 72 at the 2017 election, to hand over the leadership of the party to Jones, who would be 59.

On TVNZ's Breakfast show this morning Mr Jones quashed the claims and said he "absolutely" would be in the Labour Party at the next election.

"It'll be a long day in hell before I ever take my political advice from Matthew," he told the programme.

"His whole agenda is to create divisiveness and mischief on our side of politics."

- Newstalk ZB and New Zealand Herald

Dream on Matthew Hooten

Jones wants to be PM. Impossible as leader of NZ First. He is.biding his time. Cunliffe only has one shot in September and on present polling the stage is not set for a definite Labour victory.

Jones for leader

Jones, Cosgrove, Goff et al. are the strength of the party that endear them to middle NZ. Jones has the art of the soundbite mastered and can talk straight better than Key. Middle NZ don't like Curran's over the top vitriol, Cunliffe's "yeah nah", Grant Robertson's blandness... You get the picture. I don't think Jones will leave the party because they will realise he is necessary.

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