Election 2011: Jones unlikely to fight for Labour leadership

Labour MP Shane Jones says he is unlikely to fight for the role as Labour leader. Photo / APN
Labour MP Shane Jones says he is unlikely to fight for the role as Labour leader. Photo / APN

Labour MP Shane Jones has said it is "highly unlikely" he will put his name in the hat for his party's leadership.

Following his party's heavy defeat last night, Labour leader Phil Goff signalled clearly that he would be considering retirement, and said he planned to speak to his caucus on Tuesday.

Mr Jones, along with frontbenchers David Cunliffe and David Parker, has been tipped as a possible replacement, but this morning told TV3's The Nation, he was not likely to fight for the role.

"It's highly unlikely that I'm going to put my hand up for Labour Party for leadership."

Mr Jones refused to indicate who he would support in a leadership battle.

Fellow Labour MP Grant Robertson said he did not know what Mr Goff's plans were and the party had to give the long-serving MP space to decide what his next move was.

Asked if he was likely to try to ride in as a deputy to Mr Parker in a leadership race, Mr Robertson said it was too early for him to make decisions around where his support would lie.

Meanwhile, Act leader Don Brash is adamant his decision to resign was his alone.

Dr Brash last night announced that he would resign after Epsom candidate John Banks was elected but the party failed to get enough of the party vote to return any other MPs to Parliament.

"There was no indication whatsoever I was going to be pushed ... I thought it was appropriate for me to step down," he told The Nation.

- APNZ

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