Labour MP hired PR firm to help her attack leader’s decision

An extraordinary story from Newshub:

Labour’s Poto Williams hired a private public relations firm to craft her statement on Willie Jackson joining the party.

Christchurch-based Inform PR sent out a statement from Ms Williams condemning her leader Andrew Little’s decision to welcome Mr Jackson into the Labour fold.

The statement was first sent out to select media via Inform PR then later posted to her Facebook page.

Inform PR’s Cameron Taylor was unable to confirm when he was asked to step in – saying all questions should be directed at Ms Williams.  

“I can’t talk about it,” he said. “I can’t say anything about it, you’d need to ask her office about that.”

The company’s website implies that they charge between $70 – $100 an hour.

I’ve been involved in politics for around 30 years and I can’t recall ever before an MP hiring a public relations firm to help them promote a statement attacking a decision personally made by their party leader.

If Little lets this pass without sanction, then his leadership is even weaker than we thought. Any other leader in any other party would sack or suspend an MP who hired a PR firm to attack the party leader.

I mean think about that. An MP hired a PR firm to put out a press release attacking a star candidate hand picked by their own leader. And they think they can run the country.

The trouble is Little does not have the support of his caucus. He got monstered in the caucus room on Tuesday and has had to back away from the promised high list place for Willie Jackson. He has managed to alienate the Maori wing, the youth wing, the Rainbow wing, the parliamentary wing and the women’s wing of Labour in one go. And you know what, there isn’t much of Labour not in one of those wings.


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