29 Mar 2011

Challenge to Goff ruled out by senior colleagues

8:16 pm on 29 March 2011

Senior Labour MPs are ruling out any talk of a challenge to Phil Goff's leadership of the party.

Suggestions of a challenge have arisen following Mr Goff's handling of a police investigation into former list MP Darren Hughes, who resigned on Friday.

Mr Goff knew of the matter, which is understood to be of a sexual nature, for two weeks before it became public knowledge.

Mr Hughes was promoted to be Labour's education spokesman in February. He was also the party's senior whip.

MPs contacted by Radio New Zealand are adamant there is no threat to Mr Goff's leadership.

Deputy leader Annette King says she is close to her caucus colleagues and insists there is no talk of rolling Mr Goff.

Finance spokesperson David Cunliffe says he's not aware of any challenge and he certainly isn't involved in one. He reiterated his support for Mr Goff.

Health spokesperson Grant Robertson also denied any suggestion of a coup.

The party's senior MPs are travelling to Dunedin for a scheduled meeting on Tuesday, which Mr Cunliffe says will focus on economic issues.