Key Points:

The Labour Party is unlikely to take any action to revoke the membership of long-time colleague Mike Moore, despite his public attack on Prime Minister Helen Clark this week.

Labour Party president Mike Williams yesterday said Mr Moore had "been talking nonsense for years", and the party had nothing against freedom of speech.

Mr Moore has gone overseas after triggering a flurry of reaction to a self-penned opinion piece in which he compared Helen Clark's "politics of personal destruction" with the highly divisive premiership of Sir Robert Muldoon.

The former Prime Minister has said he is surprised the Herald article caused such a fuss and the comparison was meant to be humorous. However, few within Labour are laughing, and the article has led to public speculation about what Mr Moore's motives were.

Senior minister Phil Goff was yesterday quoted as dismissing speculation he is after Helen Clark's job - talk fuelled by Mr Moore's article.

Mr Goff told NewstalkZB the speculation was a case of too many political commentators and journalists interviewing their typewriters, and he said nobody in Labour's caucus wouldseek the leadership as long as Helen Clark was willing and able to carry out the job.

A member of the Labour Party could potentially choose to lay a complaint against Mr Moore for bringing the party into disrepute.

However, Mr Williams noted the party had not thrown out a member since about 1939.