Andrew Little Steps Down as Labour Leader
In a shocking turn of events, Andrew Little has resigned as leader of the Labour Party just hours after stating that he would not. With less than two months to go till the election, this leaves Labour in turmoil and very low down in the polls.
The full statement from Andrew Little is as follows:
Today I have announced that I will step down as leader of the Labour Party.
I'm proud to have been leader of the Labour Party, and have given this position my absolute and unwavering dedication, just as I have done so for more than 25 years in the Labour movement.
While obviously this is a sad decision, I have been privileged to have led a united, talented team of Labour MPs, proud to have progressed the values and issues that New Zealanders care about and proud to stand with working New Zealanders.
I remain committed to the Labour cause of putting people first, lifting the rights of working New Zealanders and strengthening Kiwi families.
The Labour team of MPs and staff have worked incredibly hard during my leadership, however recent poll results have been disappointing.
As leader, I must take responsibility for these results. I do take responsibility and believe that Labour must have an opportunity to perform better under new leadership through to the election.
I am determined to make sure that Labour fights this campaign with the greatest of resolve, because far too much is at stake for far too many New Zealanders.
New Zealand needs a Labour-led Government, and in order to achieve this Labour must fight without questions over its leadership.
The campaign is on a good footing, Labour's caucus is united and the party is healthy.
My colleagues in the Labour Party caucus will elect a new leadership team this morning. I wish my successor all the very best in their new role, and offer my wholehearted support to them.
While much speculation is underway as to who will succeed him, the fact remains that both Little and Arden are on all the Labour Party billboards.
UPDATE: Jacinda Ardern has been named as leader and Kelvin Davis as deputy leader.