14 Aug 2012

Shearer tells Labour MPs to stop leadership talk

7:11 pm on 14 August 2012

Labour leader David Shearer says he has been telling his MPs on Tuesday morning to keep their mouths shut and stop talking about the party's leadership.

He says he is reminding them to stick to their areas of responsibility. "Caucus members will be getting a very, very unequivocal steer about what I expect from them and where I think we should be going."

Mr Shearer says discussion last week about his leadership, Labour MP Louisa Wall's same-sex marriage bill and the strong dislike of some Labour MPs for economic development spokesperson David Cunliffe is not helpful.

He concedes that fallout from his leadership contest with Mr Cunliffe last December still seems to be dogging the party but says that, notwithstanding reported comments on the matter last week, Mr Cunliffe retains his trust and confidence.

Mr Shearer says he talked to Mr Cunliffe during the weekend but that conversation would remain private.

Cunliffe happy

David Cunliffe has rejected suggestions he has not been working hard enough for the party.

Mr Cunliffe has responded to criticism of his commitment to party leader David Shearer.

It has prompted renewed speculation about unity within the party but Mr Cunliffe dismissed the criticisms.

Mr Cunliffe says he is very happy with David Shearer's leadership.