21 Nov 2012

Shearer gives Parker economic development role

5:12 pm on 21 November 2012

Labour Party Leader David Shearer has appointed Labour's finance spokesperson David Parker to the position of acting economic development spokesperson.

The portfolio has been re-allocated as a result of the demotion of David Cunliffe on Tuesday.

Mr Shearer says a decision will be made later about a permanent appointment to the role.

On Tuesday, the Labour Party caucus backed Mr Shearer unanimously as leader.

Mr Shearer called that urgent caucus meeting because of speculation Mr Cunliffe would mount a leadership challenge.

As a result, Mr Cunliffe was demoted to the backbench, and stripped of his economic development and associate finance portfolios.

"I regret having to take this action against him today but he has left me with no choice." Mr Shearer said at the time. "He now needs to take time to reflect on his ability to be a team player."

Key comment

But Prime Minister John Key says the Labour Party's problems are far from over, and it is involved in a war that has spilt out into the public domain.

Mr Key says he is not confident his 2014 opponent will be Mr Shearer.

He described the Labour row as a war and says its MPs fundamentally do not like each other.

Asked if he would have demoted Mr Cunliffe if he was one of his MPs, Mr Key replied it was sometimes better to keep one's enemies close.