Tracy Watkins and Kate Chapman at Stuff report:
A public spat has erupted between Labour Party head Andrew Little and MP George Hawkins after a replacement candidate was selected to represent the party in Hawkins’ Manurewa electorate last night.
Hawkins said this morning he was “very happy with the selection”.
“It wasn’t someone forced on the electorate by the engineers union who turn up once every 20 years to have a say, so we’re very pleased.”
This is what annoys a lot of rank and file members. They can spend years paying a sub and working hard for the party, and they get the same vote for selection ass a union affiliate member who gets bussed in to vote the way his union has told him to, and otherwise has no interest in Labour.
Little replied saying Hawkins was a lightweight within the party and had been on the sidelines for a long time.
Hawkins comments were unhelpful but not surprising from an MP who believed he had an entitlement to remain in the Manurewa electorate, Little said.
“The key objective was to remove George Hawkins and we achieved that objective.”
Is this Andrew speaking as EPMU National Secretary or Labour Party President? If I was a Labour MP I’d be very worried that the party president openly boasts of taking an MP out.
Hawkins said he had not discussed the selection with Little, who had not spoken to him for two years.
My God. They can’t even pretend to tolerate each other.
He dismissed suggestions, meanwhile, that concerns over his health might be another reason for him to quit Parliament early after winning a place on the Manurewa community board.
“Since I’ve had the stroke, I’ve had deep vein thrombosis, I’m diabetic and I’ve had bowel cancer. None of that’s going to stop me and the engineers aren’t going to stop me.”
George the battler.
Asked why he was opposed to the union Hawkins responded: “If you want to take part in the Labour party you should turn up each month, go to the meetings, have your say. If they did that I would have been happy to support them but that’s not happened.”
The point I made earlier.