The Dom Post reports:
An embittered David Cunliffe is refusing to rule out quitting Parliament altogether as leader David Shearer moves to finalise his front bench.
It is understood Mr Cunliffe has been offered a front bench seat and a senior portfolio but has balked at his proposed ranking.
Offering Cunliffe anything less than his current rating or portfolios, always runs the risk of a refusal.
Labour has been allocated eight front bench seats in the new Parliament and it is likely Mr Cunliffe has been offered either the sixth, seventh or eighth slot.
The top places are likely to be taken by Mr Shearer, deputy Grant Robertson, Jacinda Ardern, finance spokesman David Parker, Shane Jones and Clayton Cosgrove with the remaining two slots open to Mr Cunliffe and his running mate, Nanaia Mahuta, or possibly Ruth Dyson or Maryan Street.
So lets look at this from Cunliffe’s point of view. You’ll accept Shearer, Robertson and Parker all being ranked higher than you. But if the story is correct it is proposed that two other MPs would be higher ranked than Cunliffe, such as Jacinda Ardern or Ruth Dyson. Cunliffe would have a fair point to ask why any of those named deserve a higher ranking than him.
Now of course it is at the discretion of the leader, what ranking to give out – but it is also at the discretion of the MP whether or not to accept.
Meanwhile, former list MP Stuart Nash, who is close to Mr Shearer, has been offered the role of chief of staff.
He said he wanted to discuss it with his partner first, and would give Mr Shearer his answer by Sunday.
“It’s a really exciting opportunity, because I believe David Shearer can take us to victory in 2014.”
That’s a smart move. Labour really are on their way to rebuilding.