Labour shakeup on cards after porn expose

BY TRACEY WATKINS
Last updated 05:00 13/06/2010

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Former MP Dover Samuels is warning Labour leader Phil Goff not to make moral judgements against under-fire porn film fan Shane Jones.

"If you're going to demote him, demote on the basis of credibility, of whether he can do his job or not, or whether there was a deliberate misappropriation," Samuels said. "But what I'm seeing is that they're going to haul him over the coals because he watched adult movies. We're entering into a debate about morality?

"Three-quarters of parliament wouldn't be there if that's the case."

Jones is being urged not to resign as Goff looks set to use the scandal to shake up his front bench.

Jones and Te Atatu MP Chris Carter face demotion tomorrow after Goff's return to a party in disarray over revelations going back seven years.

The release of credit card receipts last week show Carter notched up bills for limousines, flowers and massages, while Jones watched dozens of pornographic movies. He repaid the money before he handed in his credit card, but Carter is still paying money back.

Jones, who has been tipped as a potential leader, is considering his future, but has ruled out resigning.

Samuels said Jones shouldn't quit. "He has got leadership qualities I don't think anybody else in the party has. Many in Maoridom would be very disappointed if he resigned."

Carter told the Sunday Star-Times he had not spoken to Goff and wasn't paying any attention to media speculation he was in line for demotion. "In the end, that's in their hands. I'll still continue to do my work."

Asked if it would cause him to consider his future, he wouldn't comment. "I'll make any decision when I hear something."

With Pete Hodgson retiring at the next election, Goff will have three front bench vacancies if Jones and Carter were demoted.

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- Sunday Star Times

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