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Carter Pulls Nomination For Te Atatu

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Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media
Chris Carter
Chris Carter

Wellington, Oct 7 NZPA - Renegade MP Chris Carter has accepted his future with the Labour Party is over and withdrawn his nomination to stand again in his Te Atatu electorate.

Mr Carter was expelled from Labour's caucus after sending an anonymous letter to the media on July 29 which said a coup was planned against leader Phil Goff because he couldn't win the next election.

Mr Carter was quickly uncovered as its author and now has to face the party's national council on Monday, when it will decide whether to suspend or expel him from the party.

While Parliament considers him an independent MP Mr Carter saw himself as still a Labour MP. He will remain in Parliament until the election.

Nominations for his seat, which he has held since 1999, reopened after the letter incident and close tomorrow.

"In good conscience I cannot campaign on behalf of a leader I have criticised," Mr Carter said.

"It would not be fair to him or ethical of me. I hold this view while at the same believing the Labour Party, with its values of social democracy and concern for the welfare of ordinary people, is the best party to serve the interests of New Zealanders."

Mr Goff told NZPA that stepping down from Parliament at the next election was the only realistic decision Mr Carter could have made.

"Labour will be selecting a new candidate for the Te Atatu electorate in the near future," he said.

"We have moved on, I'm focusing on real issues and not on Chris Carter. I've dealt with him and his behaviour, he is out of caucus and now it only remains for the council to consider his membership."

Mr Carter said he remained a loyal Labour supporter.

"I have been a party member for most of my adult life, and my strong preference is to remain so. I will be very disappointed if the Labour Party chooses to end my membership. Should the current Labour Party Leadership decide to do so I will continue to vote in Parliament with Labour and regard myself as an independent Labour MP."

He accepted his criticisms had caused distress.

"The way I handled it was not how I would usually behave, which I regret. While the manner of my criticism was not appropriate I still stand by what I said because I believe Labour would do better at next year's election under a fresh leader."

However he shared some of the blame: "Of course there are some things I wish I had handled differently. At the same time I also regret that, during the pressures I have faced in the past year, I did not receive the support, advice or guidance I expected from my party leadership.

"However I want to look forward to focussing on continuing to serve the people of my electorate and it is for the Labour Caucus to resolve the leadership question."

Mr Carter said he had enjoyed being the MP for Te Atatu and was proud of his record with the Labour Party.

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