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End Of Road For Carter In Labour

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Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media
Chris Carter
Chris Carter

By Maggie Tait of NZPA

Wellington, Oct 11 NZPA - The Labour Party expelled Chris Carter after a marathon meeting lasting more than seven hours in Wellington tonight.

Mr Carter had already accepted his political future with the party was over and last week he announced he would not stand again in his Te Atatu seat.

He was thrown out of 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.

At the time Mr Carter was smarting from criticism of excessive spending on travel while he was a minister.

He was quickly outed as the letter's author.

Today he fought to stay in the party that he still believes in but his actions were a bridge too far and he was expelled.

The meeting started at 5.30pm and ended just before midnight.

Labour Party national council members heard Mr Carter's side of the story before he left at 9.30pm leaving by a back entrance to avoid waiting journalists.

On his way into the meeting Mr Carter said he was still committed to the Labour Party and he had a good record which he was going to tell the council about.

"I am looking forward to having a robust discussion about why I should still remain a member of the Labour Party," he said.

"I hope that I will retain my membership."

Asked directly whether he thought he would, Mr Carter replied "who knows?"

Mr Carter has previously said he considers his problem is with Mr Goff, not the party, and that it should consider his record of more than 20 years when it considers what to do about his behaviour.

He has also argued that others have committed similar infringements without being severely punished by the party.

Party president Andrew Little said none of the council members went into the meeting with a set position but in the end found he had breached rules by acting in a misleading manner likely to cause internal discontent and encourage external ridicule.

Mr Goff said he was pleased by the decision.

"It is consistent with the decision previously made by the Labour caucus and shows that kind of conduct is not acceptable in the Labour party. I'm concentrating now on leading the Labour party and focusing on the real issues that are important to New Zealanders."

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