Shearer 'has overwhelming support'

Labour leader David Shearer has the "overwhelming support" of his caucus and has "acted very honourably" in response to a claimed leadership challenge, party president Moira Coatsworth says.

Ms Coatsworth claimed on TV3's Firstline this morning that a challenge for the top job was "a media narrative", despite Mr Shearer calling for a vote today that is expected to confirm his spot as leader.

Ms Coatsworth refused to support senior Labour MP David Cunliffe's spot on the front bench after he sparked rumours at the party conference at the weekend that he would consider a challenge and has not ruled out doing so at a leadership review in February.

"That's a question that you'll have to ask David Shearer," Ms Coatsworth told Firstline.

"The meeting that's held today is a vote on the leadership. It's not a meeting to demote anybody, it's a meeting to decide on the leadership."

Mr Cunliffe said yesterday he would support Mr Shearer at today's leadership vote.

Mr Cunliffe said he would decide again in February if Mr Shearer was still the right person to lead the party.

Ms Coatsworth told Firstline she did not accept allegations the leadership rumblings were sparked by "Camp Shearer" in a bid to demote Mr Cunliffe.

"David Shearer's done exactly the right thing calling for a vote this morning to put this to bed," she said.


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