Robertson backs Shearer's bid

Grant Robertson
Grant Robertson
Labour MP Grant Robertson has announced he will run to be the deputy leader of the Labour Party and is supporting the leadership bid of David Shearer.

Mr Robertson made his announcement from Hamilton today just before the first of six meetings of the leadership contenders with party members. Unless more candidates put their names forward, it pits Mr Shearer with support from Mr Robertson against David Cunliffe and his chosen deputy, Nanaia Mahuta.

Mr Robertson was initially considering standing as the leader but said he had ruled it out.

"I thought long and hard about that, but I believe this is the best contribution I can make to us winning the 2014 election.''

Mr Shearer has ruled out having a running mate, saying it was up to caucus to select a deputy and he was not making any commitments about positions.

Mr Robertson said although Mr Shearer did not consider it a ticket, "I'm certainly supportive of him and when you talk to him, you'll find he's supportive of me. I'm certainly supporting David [Shearer] and I see us as a good team.''

If Shearer and Robertson took the positions, Labour would be led by two relative newcomers to Parliament - Mr Shearer was elected in April 2009 in the Mt Albert byelection and Mr Robertson entered Parliament as Wellington Central MP in 2008.

Grant Robertson said the pair had "complementary talents'' and he had significant political experience from his previous work as an advisor to former Prime Minister Helen Clark and a diplomat at the United Nations in New York.

The two leadership contenders and Nanaia Mahuta and Grant Robertson all attended the first meeting of party members on a roadshow before the vote next Tuesday.

_ The New Zealand Herald

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