Former party president Maryan Street, Carol Beaumont, and Marian Hobbs are understood to have their names on the digital open letter, according to screenshots provided to Stuff.
The Young Labour-penned letter has now been signed by over 400 Labour Party members, as turmoil within the party has risen in response the selection of Maori broadcaster Willie Jackson as a prospective new Labour MP.
400 members is a significant proportion of the membership. They are both unhappy with Jackson as a candidate but also the leader bypassing the list ranking committee to do private deals with candidates.
Former campaign manager for Andrew Little’s leadership bid Nick Kelly has also signed the letter.
So he’s lost the support of his own campaign manager.
The longtime Party member who provided the screenshots on condition of anonymity said he wanted to make clear that it wasn’t just Young Labour protesting Jackson’s selection.
“Young people in the party shouldn’t be singled out for condemnation by the leadership.”
He said he was “shocked” by Jackon’s selection.
“Here was a party that spent last week standing up to Trump and for progressive values, and this week we’re proposing to slot a right-wing, shock-jock into Parliament? We just want a party that puts forward Labour values every week of the year.
“We want an inclusive big-tent party, but where do you draw the line? This guy supports charter schools – he’s no lefty.
“I just hope Andrew [Little] is right about Willie – because he’s made a mighty big captain’s call on this one. He can’t say people didn’t warn him.”
Captain’s call is a term that comes from Australia first used by Tony Abbott to justify his decision to give Prince Phillip a knighthood. It is now used to generally denote any stupid unilateral decision by a leader.
Little told RNZ Jackson’s Roast Busters comments were wrong and that he had apologised for them.
”There is no open revolt,” Little said.
No open revolt? He has caucus members hiring PR firms to help them campaign against his decision. Let’s look at who he has put offside with this:
- His caucus for promising Jackson a higher list ranking than them
- The party’s NZ Council for bypassing them
- The women’s wing for Jackson’s comments on Roasbusters
- The Maori wing for trying to push Peeni Henare out of his seat
- The GLTBI wing for Jackson’s comments on homosexuality
- The youth wing for Jackson’s comments on eveything
- The teacher unions for Jackson’s support for charter schools
- The candidates in National held seats who see someone who only joined the party a week ago promised a higher spot than them
- His own former campaign manager