Te Atatu MP Chris Carter has been expelled from the Labour Party.

Labour's New Zealand Council met in Wellington tonight to hear the
long-time politician from West Auckland answer allegations of misconduct.

The MP had sent anonymous letters to journalists claiming that Labour leader Phil Goff could not win the next election and that other MPs could do a better job.

This followed criticisms about Mr Carter's credit-card expenses
and the amount of overseas travel he undertook while a minister in the Helen Clark Government.

Mr Carter was expelled from the Labour Party caucus at the end of

He took two months' sick leave, and has since returned to Parliament as an independent MP.

The Labour Party constitution has three grounds for disciplinary
action such as censure, suspension or expulsion.

They are:

* Contravention of the principles, rules and policies of the party as contained in the constitution and policy documents of the party

* And/or for bringing the party into disrepute

* And/or for standing as a candidate in opposition to, or publicly
campaigning against, an official Labour candidate

Last week, Mr Carter stood aside from Labour nominations for his Te Atatu seat for next year's general election but said he would fight to keep his party membership.

In interviews at the weekend, he stood by his criticism of Mr Goff,
saying the leader was not strong on issues and would not be able to
negotiate with minor parties to build a coalition government.

He said he planned to base his case to remain a Labour Party member
on previous cases, such as an attempt by some MPs to roll Helen Clark
as leader in 1996; Richard Prebble's calling David Lange "mentally
unbalanced", and John Tamihere criticising his caucus colleagues in a magazine interview.

- NZ Herald Staff