Goff’s Carter problem

The Herald reports:

leader says is not his problem any more and the caucus is moving on.

He disputes that the two months’ leave Mr Carter wants to take mean a ongoing cloud will hang over his leadership and says the issue is now behind him and he has his caucus’ support.

Oh dear. Maybe in fantasy land. After Phil demanded Carter be expelled from the party, the issue will remain live until the NZ Council do so. And I am unsure they will.

However, Mr Goff said it was not up to the whips because Mr Carter was no longer in Labour’s caucus.

“It’s got nothing to do with me. Chris Carter is not part of our caucus, he doesn’t need to apply for leave and I am not giving it or withholding it.”

Not that simple. He is still listed as a Labour Member of Parliament, and until someone writes to the Speaker to say he is not a Labour MP, then he is.

Prime Minister said he doubted anything was wrong with the errant MP and it felt like an excuse.

“He didn’t look very sick to me last week, he looked fairly exercised about the fact that he didn’t think Phil Goff could win an election.”

I think it was unwise of the PM to offer an opinion, even though his observation is not an unreasonable one. When your opponents are in trouble, you are best to say nothing at all. It looks a bit cheap to put the boot in.

This is a bit out of character for the PM, and I like the Dim-Post’s theory on why this has happened, noting that Phil Goff has started to talk about how relaxed he is about things!

Mr Goff said he stood by his earlier comments that he expected nominations for Mr Carter’s Te Atatu seat to reopen and that he would not stay in the party long.

Words that may come back to haunt.

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