Just two years after his ignominious defeat at the hands of his caucus and John Key, David Cunliffe has chucked in the towel.
Labour MP and former party leader David Cunliffe will not seek re-election in 2017, Labour leader Andrew Little has announced.
Little said Cunliffe had chosen to retire “to pursue a new management consulting career outside politics”, wishing him well for the future.
“He has made a strong contribution to the party as the MP for New Lynn since 1999 and as a former leader and finance spokesperson.
“He was a Cabinet Minister in the Fifth Labour Government where he held the portfolios of Health, and Information and Communications Technology, and Immigration.”
Cunliffe would step down at some point next year and did not want to trigger a by-election, Little said.
Labour are trying to desperately avoid a by-election they can’t afford.
I’m looking forward to the rise of the new Fonterra that I am sure his timesheets will reflect in due course.
Meanwhile, Labour sources say a woman is being lined up to replace him and that Labour Head Office will force the issue. They need more women in safe electorates because of the man ban. The list was starting to need to be top heavy with women but that would have put Andrew Little, Trevor Mallard and David Parker at huge risk.
What is also clear is that Labour MPs can’t see any prospect of Labour winning next year, and in Cunliffe’s case, no prospect of a place in the cabinet in the unlikely event they did win. They are bailing. I expect a flood of these resignations in coming months.