Little mishandling of wayward MPs gains no respect

via Stuff

via Stuff

Labour leader Andrew Little has been labelled “gutless” for standing down MP Carmel Sepuloni after her mother was charged with benefit fraud.

Mr Little was also defending another one of his MPs today, David Cunliffe, who was pulled over for talking on his cell-phone while driving.

[Carmel Sepuloni’s mum] Beverley Anne Sepuloni appeared in New Plymouth District Court today, facing 19 benefit fraud charges.

Her daughter?is collateral damage – the frontbench Labour MP?has been?stripped of her shadow social development role by Mr Little.

National MP Judith Collins took to Twitter to criticise Little, saying: “Message to LabMPs is if anyone of your family’s in trouble, so are you. No leadership, no guts [sic].”

Ms?Sepuloni says she learned of her mother’s charges yesterday – which include allegations of failing to tell authorities she was living with her partner, who was also claiming a benefit.

Three days ago?Ms?Sepuloni lodged a number of written questions to the Government on benefit fraud, one asking about the process the ministry uses for establishing whether suspected benefit fraud relating to a client having a partner despite saying they live alone, has taken place.

Mr Little has also been forced to explain why former Leader David Cunliffe was yesterday fined by?police for talking on his cell-phone.

Ms?Sepuloni has gone into hiding, instead releasing a statement asking for privacy as she deals with a difficult family matter.

Of course, it is now looking extremely murky and not at all certain Carmel wasn’t aware of her mother’s alleged benefit fraud.

It might very well be that she was at least smart enough to tell Angry Andy Little the full story behind closed doors, and that truly meant he had to hide her away, and what happened isn’t so much an overreaction as an attempt to side-step a bigger issue.

But then at the same time, he has another MP that voted for a law that he claims he knows nothing about and has broken the law and allegedly driven dangerously enough to cause members of the public to report it to the police.

That MP is getting away with it because Little is not being firm enough.

The timing of this must be highly inconvenient. ?Two own goals by two MPs just at the time they had John Key on the ropes for refusing to answer a few simple questions.


– Brook Sabin, 3 News