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Carter Will Be Challenged For Te Atatu Nomination, Little Says

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Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media
Carter Will Be Challenged For Te Atatu Nomination, Little Says

Chris Carter is likely to face at least three challengers for the Te Atatu nomination, Labour Party president Andrew Little says.

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

He was quickly uncovered as its author and now has to face the party's national council which is expected to suspend or expel him.

That would rule him out as a Labour candidate in next year's election, but Mr Carter says he is the only nomination for the seat and still considers himself to be a Labour MP, despite being treated by Parliament as an independent.

Mr Little told NZPA tonight two people had confirmed to him they would lodge their nominations before the deadline of 5pm Friday.

He said Mr Goff had told him at least one other would throw their hat into the ring as well.

Mr Little said he had been trying to tie down a date for the council meeting and had expected to hear from Mr Carter's lawyers today.

"Once we knew Chris Carter was back at Parliament and his health issues appeared to be over we made it clear that we wanted to get on and deal with the issue as quickly as possible," he said.

"We still want to...we got to a point last week where we had tentatively agreed on a date, which I confirmed in writing, and I'm waiting for that to be confirmed in writing back."

He said the response didn't arrive today and he expected it would reach him tomorrow.

Mr Little said it would be better for the council to deal with the disciplinary issue before nominations closed, but it wouldn't matter if it couldn't do that.

"Even if he was the only nomination...and we subsequently dealt with the disciplinary issue, and if that led to him being suspended or expelled, we can reopen nominations. It's not a big deal," he said.

It was reported by the Herald on Sunday that Mr Carter intends publishing a tell-all book about the last Labour government, timed to coincide with next year's general election campaign.

Mr Little said he could write what he liked.

"We will just go ahead with the processes we've got to deal with the allegations against him -- what he does either side of that is entirely up to him," he said.

"For somebody who has said to me personally that he has only ever sought to act in the best interest of the party, it is somewhat at odds with his actions."

Mr Goff said nothing Mr Carter had to say was relevant.

"Chris Carter has already been expelled from the Labour caucus, that was unanimous, he won't be coming back as a Labour MP into our caucus," Mr Goff said.

"I've been through the nine years of the last Labour government and I don't need anybody else's interpretation on what might have happened."

NZPA

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