Departing Labour MP Louisa Wall has strongly criticised senior members of the caucus, including prime minister Jacinda Ardern, for their treatment of her during her parliamentary career.
Speaking to Q&A’s Jack Tame, Wall, who has been accused by some within Labour ranks of not being a “team player”, admitted she had gone against leadership on some issues because she “disagreed with how they wanted to play the game”.
During the marriage equality campaign, which she spearheaded, she says she was told by the PM’s chief of staff that “if I didn’t do things that the way that they wanted to do, then I was on my own, and I said, ‘OK, I’m on my own.'”
Asked whether she had the prime minister’s full support during her time in parliament, she said there were “messages, probably not so subtle, that it wasn’t just that she didn’t want me in her cabinet. She was obviously very clear that she didn’t want me in her caucus.
“You’re going to have to ask her about why she thought that there was no place for someone like me in the Labour Party caucus.”
She said she was hurt by the lack of recognition of the work she’d done on behalf of Labour “because it was so public”.
The events leading up to the 2020 election, when she was forced out of the Manurewa seat she’d held since 2011, had “profoundly” affected her, Wall said.
“I think there were issues on that selection that undermine the integrity of the New Zealand Labour Party. And I think that’s sad, when we can not adhere to pretty simple doctrines of electoral principles that are quite fundamental to a functioning democracy.”
She also identified the senior Labour MP who confronted her during the marriage equality campaign and asked her “Who the f**k do you think you are?” as Clayton Cosgrove, explaining that he was angry that she, a list MP at the time, had spoken publicly about how electorate MPs should vote.
Wall will be taking up an ambassadorial role with Mfat focused on gender and LBGTQi+ issues in the Pacific following her departure from parliament. Her valedictory speech is on Thursday.
Watch the full interview here.