Benson-pope still mute on future

The longer Dunedin South MP stays mute on his future the more speculation grows that he will seek re-election.

Mr Benson-Pope was replaced as the party’s candidate by public relations consultant Clare Curran.

Former Dunedin South and St Kilda MP Michael Cullen was in the city on Sunday to launch Ms Curran’s campaign.

While both spoke highly of Mr Benson-Pope, it must be on their minds whether the MP will not go quietly into the night and instead stand, perhaps as an Independent Labour candidate.

Ms Curran tells anyone who will listen that Mr Benson-Pope is more interested in the mayoralty of Dunedin than remaining in Parliament.

But the local government elections are two years away and Mr Benson-Pope has to fill in his time somehow before then.

If a National-led government takes power after the election, any hope he might have of a lucrative official appointment will disappear.

A clique of Labour MPs seems to think Mr Benson-Pope may stand. He continually avoids answering any questions, direct or otherwise, about his plans but he does make a point of urging people to cast their party vote for Labour.

A pointer to his future might lie in the McBride St window of his office. It says: Dunedin South Office, David Benson-Pope.

The word “electorate” has been blacked out and all Labour Party logos have been removed. Ostensibly, this is to comply with the Electoral Finance Act.

But as I blogged last week, the EFA does not interfere with an MP’s electorate work; and if the signage had been breaching the Act it would have been doing so since January 1.

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