The advertising material on the outside of David Benson-Pope’s electorate office was removed last week.
Until then the exterior carried signage in Labour Party colours with a large red banner and party logos promoting the services of Benson Pope and his colleagues David Parker, Mahara Okeroa and Winnie Laben.
The exterior is now bare and my informant says the office is still operating but looks “semi empty”.
What does this mean when:
* An electorate office is paid for by parliamentary services and can’t carry party political advertising material so it should not have anything to do with preparation for the election.
* An electorate MP is an MP until election day and MPs and employees have time after the election to clear up and clear out should the MP not be re-elected.
* It should be far too close to the election to use parliamentary services funding to refresh signage for MPs.
* The Labour Party hasn’t enough money to fund a website so it wouldn’t spend its own money changing signage when what was there was spreading the message already.
So is this confirmation that Benson-Pope’s coy response to the ODT about his future means that he will stand as an independent?
Because an MP who was going to resign from his party and stand as an independent would neither want nor be able to have his former party’s colours, logo and other material on his office.