Gibson on 'last chance', says Cunliffe

19:15, Aug 11 2014
David Cunliffe
Last chance saloon: Steve Gibson toasts David Cunliffe during Cunliffe's visit to Timaru in July.

Labour Party leader David Cunliffe says the party's Rangitata candidate Steve Gibson is "on a last chance" for insults directed at Prime Minister John Key.

Gibson has apologised for comparing Prime Minister John Key to Jewish Shakespearean villain Shylock in a public Facebook comment.

Gibson said he apologised unreservedly for calling called Key "Shonky Jonkey Shylock". Gibson also described Key as "a nasty little creep with a nasty evil and vindictive sneer".

Gibson today said he was "unaware of the connotations" of referring to Key as Shakespeare's greedy, money-lending Jewish character.

''I've taken down the offending post and apologised to those people who told me they were offended,'' Gibson said. He said the Labour Party had instructed him not to comment further.

Cunliffe said Gibson was a "very promising candidate" with a "larger than life personality". However, Cunliffe said Gibson's comments "show extremely poor judgement" and there would likely be consequences for his candidacy if similar actions were repeated.

Gibson attended a July public speech in Timaru by New Zealand First leader Winston Peters, who has recently drawn criticism for his "two Wongs don't make a white" joke about Chinese land ownership. At the time, Gibson said he had "come to learn from the guru".


The Timaru Herald