It’s all on in Labour, my sources are telling me that Shearer’s mob are incensed by the carry on at the weekend and they are seeking retribution against Cunliffe, either attempting to banish him to the back benches at the very least for chucking him out of caucus all together.
Front and centre in all this dust up and blood and guts is Trevor Mallard who I have had described to me variously as pumped full of testosterone or huffing excessive quantities of meth.
Even though Cunliffe has backed away from an outright confrontation the talks of demotion still loom. Duncan Garner writes:
But Labour Party sources say Shearer will punish Cunliffe by calling a caucus this week or next at the latest and will kick him off the front bench as economic development spokesman.
At the same caucus, Shearer will seek an endorsement as leader which 3 News now understands he will win.
It’s understood a number of senior MPs are furious at Cunliffe’s antics over the weekend.
An MP who didn’t want to be named but is clearly in Camp Shearer said Cunliffe will be demoted to the backbenches and will spend years there.
“His political career has reached its pinnacle, he has committed treachery against our leaders over 4 years, even if he spends years in the wilderness he will only ever get back to the mid-benches. He is a fink that ruined the conference,” says the MP.
Suggestions that Cunliffe will be expelled are understood to be far-fetched and incorrect.
I’m not so sure about that.
Shearer is safe until February and then it is all on, especially if the darling of the membership is demoted in any way.
David Shearer though is damned which ever way he turns. If he demotes Cunliffe all the goodwill from his speech will disappear faster than the dole on Thursdays and if he doesn’t discipline Cunliffe then he looks weak and vacillating. Either way the Cunliffe faction grows in power.