Former Labour MP Judith Tizard lashed out at outgoing party president Andrew Little yesterday as a bully, and likened the Herald to sulking 15-year-olds "who smoke too much dope".

"Their behaviour has been appalling," she said of the Herald. "They should be reporting and analysing the news, not trying to make it."

She made her comments while talking about pressure she felt in deciding not to take up a list-seat vacancy in Parliament created by the resignation of Darren Hughes.

The former Auckland Issues Minister was less trenchant in her criticism of Labour leader Phil Goff.

But she implied a telephone call he made to her saying she would be welcome back had been insincere.

"I have to confess he sounded like he was chewing dead rats as he said it," she told TVNZ's Q+A.

Mr Little said he favoured Louisa Wall, the next person on Labour's list who will be standing at the November election, over any of the four ex-MPs ahead of her.

Mr Goff made it clear he preferred someone who was standing in November, without explicitly saying he did not want Judith Tizard.

Ms Tizard attacked the Herald's coverage last year of right-wing blogs that were critical of her.

She also cited one of the four Herald stories about her last week, and Friday's editorial headed "Tizard exposes downside of party lists."

The editorial criticised political parties which manipulated lists, as well as what it called Ms Tizard's "posturing and prevarication".

She told the Herald last night that the editorial had been an attempt to manipulate her decision-making.

"I find it astonishing that a newspaper has tipped over in trying to manipulate the news, rather than reporting it or analysing."

Ms Tizard told TV3: "The Herald have been behaving, I think, like sulky 15-year-olds who smoke too much dope."