Claire Trevett writes:
Ardern’s win in Mt Albert prompted fresh speculation Little should replace his steady pacemaker King with the crowd-pleasing sprinter Ardern as deputy for the home straight to the election.
There is sense in that. But King can not see it. King’s response was a quite astonishing and vociferous defence of her turf.
She claimed the talk around Ardern was ageist. She even went a little bit Trump, accusing media of having a vendetta against her.
Speaking to the Herald she questioned what Ardern could offer that she did not, other than relative youth.
Doesn’t sound like she is keen to stand aside.
Little could take the risk of upsetting the likes of MP Poto Williams and Maryan Street over his decision to recruit Willie Jackson to Labour, but he can not afford to get offside with King.
King has great loyalty in Labour and Little will not be able to replace her unless she recognises it is a necessary idea herself.
He somehow has to make it seem like it was her idea all along.
And that is now too late. Ardern would likely refuse if King was upset by it.
A very unsafe thing, to annoy Annette.