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Tamihere exposes serious cracks in Labour

Bill English National Party Leader
23rd February 2003

Tamihere exposes serious cracks in Labour

John Tamihere's frustrated outburst on welfare policy signals trouble for Helen Clark if she doesn't pull him back into line quickly, says National Leader Bill English.

"John Tamihere's abusive comments about Steve Maharey and Labour's "old left" policy break every rule in the Cabinet Manual, and directly challenge Helen Clark's management of her MPs.

"Mr Tamihere has always prided himself on being a man who doesn't back away from a fight. His prescription for welfare policy completely contradicts Labour's direction, for which he clearly has no regard.

"Mr Tamihere has so far done what he's told to earn promotion. He will now come under heavy pressure to back off and apologise.

"His views on welfare show he is a real danger to the Labour Cabinet because he speaks for so many people who vote for them.

"Mr Tamihere has only a short period of time to decide whether to stick to his views, or buckle to Helen Clark. Either he is brought into line or Labour changes its welfare policy," said Mr English.


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