Labour Party Leadership

First check back to November 18th about the Labour Party conference.

During the conference last weekend, David Cunnliffe refused to say if he supported David Shearer as Leader of the Opposition. This looked as if Mr Cunnliffe wanted to challenge Mr Shearer for the leadership again. For this reason, Mr Shearer called a meeting today of the caucus – all Labour Party MPs – to vote on his leadership. It was a unanimous vote – all 34 MPs voted to keep him as their leader. He said that the Party worked as a team and it was important that all members were part of that team.

Mr Cunnliffe who has now moved to the back bench because he has lost his special responsibility as Shadow Minister of Economic Development.

David Cunnliffe tried for the leadership in 2011 but lost to David Shearer. Listen to December 12th 2011 to hear more about this.

Mr Cunnliffe was elected to Parliament in 1999. He is an intelligent and experienced MP. He was part of the Labour Cabinet in 2007 as Minister of Health and Minister of Communications and Information Technology.


(Note: it is a good idea to check that you know this vocabulary before you listen.)

• leadership – the job of leader
• caucus – all MPs of the same Party
• unanimous – everybody agrees (This word has 4 syllables. Try saying it: u nan i mous)
• Shadow Minister – The Government has Ministers (e.g. Minister of Health) and the Opposition has Shadow Ministers (e.g. the Shadow Minister of Health). Their job is to know everything they can about this responsibility so they can challenge the Minister.
• Cabinet – all Ministers

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