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Anderton A Steady Parnter Under Any Banner - PM

The prospect of a split in the Alliance, strongly hinted at in a letter to Alliance members from leader Jim Anderton today, won’t affect Labour, Prime Minister Helen Clark says.

At this afternoon's post-Cabinet press confernce she said irrespective of what brand Jim Anderton runs under he would campaign to be a steady coalition partner to Labour, and she expects he’ll return as an MP, along with others under him.

Two options for the future of the party were put to Alliance members in the letter. They could tick one of two boxes that said the Alliance should either:
- Stay on course as commonsense, constructive coalition partners, working for Alliance values and policies; or
- Head off on an alternative course of opposition politics.

Mr Anderton says whether or not he forms a new party is in the hands of the membership.

Miss Clark said that at one percent in opinion polls, the brand has little value and would have to be rebuilt if Mr Anderton was to run under it. But she said Jim Anderton has steady support.

Miss Clark said senior members of the Alliance have been disruptive of the work of Mr Anderton and other Alliance ministers.

“It’s getting to the point where it needs to be resolved one way or another,” she said at today’s Post Cabinet press conference.

The Alliance will hold a caucus tomorrow, where Mr Anderton is expected to square off against party president Matt McCarten and the faction of council members he says are being undermining.

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