3 Aug 2010

Labour signals it will tread carefully over Carter

7:15 am on 3 August 2010

The Labour Party has signalled it will tread carefully in considering whether its errant MP Chris Carter should be expelled.

Mr Carter was suspended from the Labour Party caucus on Thursday for circulating an anonymous letter detailing discontent with the party's leader Phil Goff and predicting a leadership challenge.

Labour's ruling council is meeting on Saturday to consider Mr Carter's future with the party.

Radio New Zealand's political editor says Chris Carter has effectively ended his parliamentary career with the attack, but is trying to hang onto his membership in the Labour Party and his representatives have made submissions to the party about how his case should be handled.

Labour Party president Andrew Little says a decision will only be made if it is clear exactly what Mr Carter is alleged to have done, and he is given an adequate opportunity to respond.

He says the council will deal with the matter sympathetically but not sentimentally and will make a decision that complies with natural justice.

Mr Little told Morning Report it's important that the council acts in a way that doesn't expose it to undue legal risk and it may need more time to decide whether or not to expel him from the party.

Local electorate members met over the weekend and it's understood they voted to support Mr Carter.