Comrade Kate is facing increased pressure to do a proper resignation, from all her positions:
Praise for Kate Wilkinson’s decision to quit as labour minister over the Pike River disaster has quickly turned sour, with pressure building on her to resign from the Cabinet altogether.
Within minutes of the publication of findings by a royal commission that the Labour Department contributed to the deaths of 29 miners by not closing down unsafe operations at Pike River, the MP for Waimakariri fell on her sword.
After initial admiration from West Coast-based Opposition MPs, questions were raised yesterday about why she remained in the Cabinet on a $250,000-plus salary.
Before publishing the commission’s report, the Government spent six days trawling through paperwork before Prime Minister John Key announced that none of Ms Wilkinson’s “actions or inactions” made her “culpable”.
But yesterday Labour’s industrial relations spokeswoman, Darien Fenton, called for her to step down from her remaining portfolios which include conservation.
Asked yesterday if she was going to resign from the Cabinet, an emotional Ms Wilkinson replied: “What else have I . . . what have I done wrong?”
Well there is quite long list on that…especially in Conservation, but that is for another day.
The problem Labour has in pushing for her total resignation (hey are bitter that she stole their thunder) is twofold. First, if she had to quit all posts then there really is no real reason to stick around and so would probably throw her toys and quit parliament altogether forcing a by-election which National would lose, thus ending the government. Second, the focus would then also be drawn to forcing Labour’s responsible former ministers to likewise quit.
Fortunately for Kate Wilkinson she has the double insulation of those reasons protecting her from too much pressure.