Cameron gets the job

Claire Trevett at NZ Herald reports:

Labour leader David Shearer has appointed lawyer and NZ Aids Foundation chairman Alastair Cameron as his new chief of staff after the resignation of Stuart Nash.

Alastair Cameron is a long-term Labour activist, and generally regarded by Labour people as a good operator. He was on the NZ Council when he was a student, as the party’s youth vice-president around 2002.

Mr Shearer last week led the charge on the Crafar farms sale, but the previous strategy of keeping him away from subjects on which Labour had a negative line gave rise to speculation about the leadership after his deputy, Mr Robertson, was left to lead Labour’s reaction on major issues such as Nick Smith’s resignation as minister over troubles in ACC.

Mr Shearer said he did lead reaction on many issues but also recognised that his other MPs were “very able” and should be allowed to contribute.

The changes are a disruption Mr Shearer could do without as he tries to make an impact in the polls. Although it is not yet serious, he is already having to contend with speculation about his leadership and the ambition of his deputy. …

Mr Robertson has dismissed the speculation, but it has spread to others, including the left-wing blog the Standard.

Contributor Irish Bill observed that it was no secret Mr Robertson wanted the job and, although he hoped he was wrong, “it’s starting to feel like a leadership challenge is inevitable”.

Interesting that the Herald quotes an alias in a news story.

Mr Shearer said it was a long process to get Labour back to being “match fit” and there was an acceptance of that. He said he was not aware of tension within his office.

Really? If David is not aware of the tension within his office, he is the only person in Wellington who isn’t aware of it.

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