Apparently there was a coup in Labour last night. Missed it? So did Labour. The coup seems to have taken place largely in the mind of Duncan Garner, with the assistance of well-known Labour insider Cameron Slater. Let Twitter tell the tale:
Duncan Garner 9:05pm: Good source. Coup on in Labour. Letter of no confidence being circulated. It’s over for Shearer. Watch for his resignation.
Duncan Garner 9:44pm: @DavidLloydNZ Nope not doing guesses on that. Just saying what’s happening now. Little, Robertson, Cunliffe all in mix.
Chris Hipkins 9:56pm: @Garner_Live Your source is full of crap. No letter. No leadership challenge. Stop making things up.
Julie Fairey 9:59pm: @chrishipkins @Garner_Live Garner has just said on Radio Live that @patrickgowernz has the letter and will show it on Nightline TV3.
Chris Hipkins 10:21pm: @Garner_Live No letter, no Nightline story, no substance. Manufacturing news plain and simple.
Grant Robertson 10:34pm: @Garner_Live Duncan, I have now confirmed with the whole Caucus. There is no letter. This is just made up. Apology?
dave 10:37pm: Gosh this is embarassing for TV3. I think Garner stuffed up tonight.
Mel Ansell-Bridges 10:56pm: Well that de-escalated quickly.
Princes St Labour 11:06pm: “@ipredictnz: Shearer to depart in 2013 back to where it was earlier today https://www.ipredict.co.nz/app.php?do=contract_detail&contract=SHR.DEPART.2013 …”so someone made a quick buck @Garner_Live
The involvement of ipredict in fuelling the rumor is interesting. Matthew Hooton does their PR. Someone could have made a few hundred bucks for an hour’s work supplying Garner with a rumor, boosting the appropriate stocks, and then dumping them before the story collapsed…. as long as Garner and ipredict gave the story cred.
And at 11:14pm Small and Watkins tuck the story up in bed for the night:
The latest speculation followed a series of Labour crisis meetings over a so-called “man ban” in proposed changes to party selection rules which were withdrawn yesterday following a backlash from Labour’s MPs.
They centred on a no confidence letter supposedly circulated by Labour MPs Clayton Cosgrove, Andrew Little and Shane Jones but all three rubbished it.
Cosgrove said the rumours had been started by National and told Fairfax the speculation was “absolute crap”. He was 100 per cent behind Shearer’s leadership. Little and Jones also flatly denied the letter. Jones said he had seen no letter and no one had approached him to sign any letter.
Little is understood to have approached Shearer earlier to give him an assurance he had not been destabilising his leadership. Insiders saying there was no discussion about a no confidence motion during yesterday’s caucus. …
David Cunliffe said the coup rumours were “ridiculous”.
It looks like someone has played Garner / Gower here. They would do well to ask themselves why.
[update: Hoots says he’s no longer involved in ipredict]