Defeated Cunliffe keeps options open on further leadership tilt

Defeated Labour Party leadership contender David Cunliffe told journalists today he was throwing his full support behind new leader David Shearer, but with the implied proviso, ‘for now’.

“I am pledging complete and total support to the new leader of the Labour Party,” Cunliffe told the NZ Herald before deciding to add: “I have no leadership ambitions at this point.”

Pressed by the newspaper on whether he would have another go at some future point, Cunliffe said he might think about that after Christmas.

Mr Cunliffe said he had “a whole lot of summer barbecues and more than one or two cold beers ahead of me before I even approach that kind of question.”

The refusal to rule out future leadership rumbles is unusual in the normally tight Labour Party caucus, where contenders are normally careful to pledge support with no strings attached, to the current leader, end of story.