Last week Labour deputy leader Annette King said suggestions Jacinda Ardern should replace her were ageist:
Ardern’s win in Mt Albert prompted fresh speculation Little should replace his steady pacemaker King with the crowd-pleasing sprinter Ardern as deputy for the home straight to the election.
There is sense in that. But King can not see it. King’s response was a quite astonishing and vociferous defence of her turf.
She claimed the talk around Ardern was ageist. She even went a little bit Trump, accusing media of having a vendetta against her.
Speaking to the Herald she questioned what Ardern could offer that she did not, other than relative youth. . .
This week King says:
After some reflection, I have decided to step down from the Deputy Leader’s position in the Labour Party .
I have been considering my position for some time and after discussing the matter with colleagues I feel now is the right time to pass the baton . .
Jacinda Ardern has my full support to be Labour’s new Deputy Leader. I have watched her political career blossom since she became an MP in 2008 and mentored her when she needed help. After her emphatic victory in Mt Albert, she’s well and truly ready to step up. . .
This has obviously been a long week in politics for King, long enough to change her mind but what changed it?
The calls for Ardern’s promotion came from the media, was it a case of media say, Labour do?
Or was someone in Labour using the media to advance Ardern’s cause?
These are questions no-one who knows is likely to answer, just as they won’t answer exactly what Ardern has done to justify her promotion.
Losing a seat your party has held for decades is significant, winning it is business as usual.