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Goff Ready To Take Over Labour Leadership

Contributor:
Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media
Phil Goff
Phil Goff

Wellington, Nov 10 NZPA - Senior Labour Cabinet Minister Phil Goff is ready to take over the leadership of the party if his colleagues want him to.

"He's basically saying he's available for the job," a spokesman for Mr Goff told NZPA today.

The spokesman said there was "a reasonable chance" that Labour's 43-member caucus would vote on the leadership tomorrow.

Mr Goff is clear frontrunner to take over from Helen Clark, who announced after Saturday night's election result that she was standing down.

Her deputy, Michael Cullen, is also standing down and the caucus has to replace him as well.

One of Mr Goff's senior colleagues, Annette King, is likely to be chosen as deputy leader but there are others who could challenge for it.

Ms King is understood to be ready to stand for the deputy leadership.

Others being mentioned as possible candidates are Maryan Street and David Cunliffe, both ministers in the Labour cabinet.

Labour would like the new leader and deputy leader to be elected unopposed if that is possible.

Mr Goff has been in Parliament since 1981, the same year Miss Clark came in.

He was a senior minister in the previous Labour government and was foreign minister in the current one until 2005 when the job was given to Winston Peters as part of the support deal.

Ms King also has wide experience as a minister and has been in Parliament since 1984.

NZPA PAR pw kn

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