27 Feb 2017

Ardern romps home in Mt Albert, hoses down Deputy speculation

From Morning Report, 7:19 am on 27 February 2017

Labour MP Jacinda Ardern says she has never asked to be the party's deputy leader.

Jacinda Ardern

Photo: RNZ / Claire Eastham-Farrelly

Ms Ardern convincingly won Saturday's Mount Albert by-election, with a margin of 8500 votes over her nearest rival, the Green Party's Julie Anne Genter.

That prompted speculation in the media that she could replace Annette King as deputy leader.

Ms Ardern told Morning Report that was not something she had asked for, or discussed with the Labour leader Andrew Little.

However, she said she had spoken to Mrs King about the speculation.

"Just simply the fact that this is not an issue for either of us, and the fact that it's a distraction to the things we're focused on - that's been the nature of my conversation with Annette, who, I want to reiterate, is a very good mentor and friend."