Vernon Small says Cullen to quit soon

seems to have an exclusive at Stuff:

Former finance minister is expected to quit politics in the next two months. …

But party sources said Dr Cullen’s departure was imminent, and would certainly be before the May 28 Budget.

Former Tasman-West Coast MP Damien O’Connor is next on Labour’s list and would be first in line to take Dr Cullen’s seat.

Miss Clark’s resignation would trigger a by-election in Mt Albert. List MP Phil Twyford is seen as the front-runner to be Labour’s candidate. Next in line to replace him would be former Auckland Central MP Judith Tizard.

Everyone assumes Damien will accept the list spot. I certainly think he will. I do wonder if anyone has actually asked him?

There may be one small complication for Damien. The Taito Philip Field trial is in April I think. Now I don’t know if Damien will be a witness, but it is possible. And there could be some embarrassing stuff come out on two fronts. The first is why Damien approved such a massively high proportion of requests from Field. The second is his insistence he was not warned about what Field was doing, despite numerous warnings sent to his office.So Labour may want to delay Cullen going until after the trial.

Judith Tizard returning, would be of course wonderful. Every party in Parliament has edged away from her daft s92A law. But wonderfully Judith was on radio yesterday giving it her full support.

At some stage I’ll write the “eulogy” for Michael Cullen – probably when he does announce his resignation. The term “flawed genius” is what most comes to mind as the theme.

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