23 Sep 2010

Carter still considers himself a Labour MP

1:11 pm on 23 September 2010

Independent MP Chris Carter says he still considers himself a Labour MP and could still seek the party's nomination in Te Atatu.

Mr Carter has issued a written statement upon his return to Parliament.

However, he refused on Thursday to take questions from reporters.

In the statement, Mr Carter said he remains a member of the Labour Party and his nomination for the Te Atatu candidacy for the next general election remains valid.

He said he will determine whether or not he will continue with the nomination in the next few weeks.

Mr Carter said his dispute is not with the party, but with the current parliamentary leadership.

Party decision due soon

Labour Party president Andrew Little says the party could make a decision on Chris Carter's future membership of Labour within a couple of weeks.

Mr Carter returned to Parliament on Wednesday as an independent MP, after being on sick leave for more than seven weeks.

Mr Little says Labour's ruling council will now proceed with disciplinary action over an attack by Mr Carter on the leadership of Phil Goff on 29 July.

He says expelling Mr Carter is one of a range of possible outcomes, but nothing is ruled in or out at this stage.

Mr Carter has indicated to Radio New Zealand that he is still considering seeking the Labour nomination to stand in Te Atatu at the next election.