9 Feb 2017

Willie Jackson and Labour MP critic meet

4:23 pm on 9 February 2017

Labour MP Poto Williams says she had a robust and honest conversation with Willie Jackson when they met last night.

Poto Williams, left, and Willie Jackson.

Poto Williams, left, met with Willie Jackson, right, last night. Photo: RNZ / Claire Eastham-Farrelly / Supplied

Ms Williams publicly criticised Mr Jackson after it was announced he would be a Labour candidate, because of comments he made during the Roastbusters investigation into underage sex.

The criticism forced Labour leader Andrew Little to discipline his MPs, and tell them such issues were only to be raised in caucus.

Ms Williams said having spoken with Mr Jackson, she believed his apology about the Roastbusters incident was genuine.

She said their conversations would continue and she and Mr Jackson were committed to working together on rates of sexual and domestic violence.

Meanwhile, Labour list candidate Maryan Street has posted a not-so-subtle message on social media about Mr Little and his promise of a high-list placement for Mr Jackson.

In a Facebook post, Ms Street talked about Labour's Nelson candidate, Rachel Boyack, getting there through "hard work and loyalty to the party", not "shoulder tapping and list-jigging".

She went on to list several women Labour candidates, noting there is "no safe seat or guaranteed high list place for them".

But the move to give Mr Jackson a high list placing is unlikely to be officially challenged because it would damage the party, according to Otago University law professor Andrew Geddis.

Mr Geddis said if Mr Little expressed a strong opinion about a candidate it became very difficult for party members to disagree. A member would have to take their own party to court if they felt the list process was not being followed correctly.

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