Selwyn Manning at Scoop writes:
Scoop has also learnt that indeed a cabal representing a group within caucus is counting numbers against Goff.
Maryan Street and Ruth Dyson are representing a cabal that is seeking support for David Parker to replace Goff. And rumours that Helen Clark and her strong-arm strategist Heather Simpson have been consulted appear to have some substance.
Today, Scoop understands Parker has the numbers to roll Goff. He does have the support of the majority of the Labour caucus. But Scoop also understands the cabal will not make its move to roll the leader until Goff absorbs full responsibility for his handling of the Hughes affair.
Also, Labour’s caucus will not be meeting this coming week, leaving little opportunity for a formal leadership vote to be put.
While Parker has Street and Dyson counting the numbers, Goff is left undefended. Hughes was his chief whip, he would normally go bidding for the leader. But with him out of the picture it is left to Stevie Chadwick who does not have the clout to stave off a leadership coup.
The earliest this situation can be put to bed is when caucus meets in over one week’s time. That is unless a crisis meeting is called with all Labour Mps returning to Wellington to vote.
Scoop understands that when the Parker cabal finally decides to make its move, Annette King will also be rolled from her deputy leadership position.
This is a very detailed story, so one can only assume there is significant substance to it.
Also NBR reported today:
Word from inside the party is that the New York branch (aka former leader Helen Clark) has been involved in secret talks over the future of current leader Phil Goff. …
“I am reliably informed that Labour rank and file are planning a challenge to Goff,” a well-placed insider told NBR.
“David Parker, Maryan Street and Ruth Dyson – with the approval of the New York office – are gathering numbers to see what can be done,” the source said.
Mr Goff’s handling of the Hughes event was the final straw.
If the plotters have the numbers, they don’t actually have to wait until the next Caccus meeting. If a majority of MPs are willing to sign a letter saying they want Goff to go, then they can just present it to him in Auckland – and he will probably resign rather than test a vote.