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Jones Has Not Given Up On Labour Leadership

Jones Has Not Given Up On Labour Leadership

Labour MP Shane Jones says his ambitions to lead Labour will depend on how he does in the upcoming election.

Speaking today on TV3’s “The Nation” Mr Jones said his ambitions have dimmed but he said his future would depend on whether he could beat Maori Party co-leader, Pita Sharples, in the Tamaki-Makaurau seat which Dr Sharples currently holds.

And Mr Jones said he wanted to recover the position on the front bench that he lost after he was found to have used a Parliamentary credit card to pay for porn movies in a hotel.

“I think with the public that I'm pretty popular, and you know I'm a person who's very optimistic, “he said.

“I like to see the politics of hope, and I think that I'm a very hopeful character. Whether or not I'm popular with everyone in the Labour Party, there might be a residual element but that’s life.”

And Mr Jones was harshly critical of leaks about Phil Goff’s leadership coming out of the Labour caucus.

However Mr Jones did not deny that there had been a discussion between Mr Goff and senior caucus members over his leadership.

“I think I know how that story may have made it into the public,” he said.

“If there is someone who has made that leak then they should be made to pay the price.

“To wake up when you're trying to win votes and to read in the newspaper such a story about our leader, it causes my Slavic blood to boil.

Asked about possible leadership contenders David Cunliffe and David Parker, Mr Jones said: “I think that both of them are very ambitious and they’ve got a lot to offer the Labour Party.”

Asked specifically about Mr Cunliffe, Mr Jones said he needed to go and sell the party’s economic policy.

“I understand David to have said on numerous occasions he's a team player and he's gonna tautoko or support Annette King and Phil Goff,” he said.

“Now what happens in the future we need to talk to him about that, but there's really no – there's no scope for this fratricide or there's no scope for feeding the media's appetite in wanting to turn this election into a Labour Party leadership fight.”

Also on the programme List MPs Stuart Nash, Carol Beaumont and Carmel Sepuloni all maintained that Mr Goff had the support of the caucus to lead the party through the election.

Ms Sepuloni said New Zealanders were looking for substance form their politicians.

“Labour has the substance in their policies and I think closer to the election people will realise that, and we'll see a sharp shift in what the polls are looking like,” she said.

ends

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