It’s all anyone’s talking about – or maybe I live in a politics echo chamber – so we’re going to start today with the latest in the Sharma saga. You can also check out today’s edition of The Bulletin for a comprehensive wrap or read Toby Manhire’s latest piece for some analysis.
After sending another grenade into Labour last night during an interview with Newshub, rogue MP Gaurav Sharma has done the media rounds this morning where he has doubled down on his claims of bullying and alleged a cover-up that starts at the very top.
The main aspect of Sharma’s new allegations is that the secret Monday night “not-a-caucus” meeting pre-determined his fate. He claimed to have a recording of a Labour Party colleague saying exactly that. He’s accused the prime minister of covering it up and told RNZ she was a liar.
“There is no credibility… this is about the credibility of a nation’s prime minister, who every step of the way has been lying,” he said. “Even this week, lying and saying there is no predetermination while she called the meeting, in which everybody was invited, except me.”
On Newshub’s AM this morning, Sharma said he “may or may not” have more recordings of other MPs from within his caucus.
Despite the serious allegations levelled at the Labour leadership, Sharma told Newstalk ZB that nobody had reached out to him since the Newshub interview aired last night. “It’s about getting justice,” said Sharma when asked if he cared about being expelled. “I’m sure everyone will try to silence me one way or another, but [justice] is what matters most to me.”
A spokesperson for Labour leader Jacinda Ardern confirmed last night that expulsion was once again on the table. “The Labour Caucus will meet on Tuesday to consider a motion to expel Gaurav Sharma from the caucus,” they said. “Gaurav has repeatedly breached his colleagues trust, and caucus was clear that should there be further breaches such as this then further steps would be taken.”