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Shearer Endorsed, Cunliffe Shorn

Labour Leader David Shearer has been backed by his caucus and David Cunliffe has been stripped of his economic development portfolio and sent to the back benches.

Shearer emerged from a caucus meeting that lasted more than an hour today to announce his MPs had unanimously endorsed his leadership.

The vote had been put to end the speculation over his leadership.

``I enjoy the confidence of my caucus now and into the future,’’ Shearer said

The rules changes made by the Labour Party over leadership votes were welcomed by him and would be implemented.

``We are energised and in good heart.’’

He described Cunliffe’s actions as destructive, disappointing and undermining.

``I no longer have confidence in David Cunliffe,’’ Shearer said.

The economic development portfolio had been given to Cunliffe after Shearer beat him in an election race as sign that he wanted to work with him, however his rival had shown himself not to be a team player.

As a result Cunliffe would be demoted and sent to the back benches until he could show he was willing to work as part of the Labour team under Shearer's leadership.

``This is about taking us forward,'' Shearer said. ``It was necessary for this to happen''.

ends

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