Labour MP Gaurav Sharma suspended effective immediately

By Whatitiri Te Wake

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The Labour Party caucus this afternoon decided to suspend Hamilton West MP Gaurav Sharma effective immediately

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern today announced the decision at a press conference. 

Despite Sharma being invited to dial into today's online caucus meeting, and after what she said were numerous attempts to engage the MP, he decided not to attend.

“Caucus has determined that this is the most appropriate response to the repeated breaches of trust from Gaurav over recent days,” Ardern said.

Gaurav will continue as the Labour MP for Hamilton West and be expected to be present in Parliament but the prime minister said Sharma would no longer participate in caucus events or activities.

“This decision today by caucus was unanimous. The team were very clear that to function as a political party where open debate and dialogue is so key, you need to trust your colleagues.”

'Repeated breaches'

“That trust has been broken through repeated breaches of our caucus rules over the past five days and that made the decision very clear,” she said.

Earlier today Minister Willie Jackson said he was surprised by what has been happening lately.

“I think we’re all stunned. No one can actually believe it,” he said.

Jackson said the party had come a long way in 10 years and that the party was a "very caring" party

“Rerekē i taua wā, nui te ngau tuara, whawhai. Rerekē tēnei rōpū inaianei”

“It was different in those times. There was lots of backstabbing, fighting/bickering. The caucus is different now.”

Sharma is suspended until December and the Prime Minister confirmed a review will take place to see if he could then return to caucus.