24 Nov 2014

Delegates 'not told to vote for Little'

9:09 am on 24 November 2014

The head of the largest union affiliated to the Labour Party says delegats were not instructed to support Andrew Little in his successful bid for the party's leadership.

New Labour Party leader Andrew Little has said the caucus will back him.

New Labour Party leader Andrew Little Photo: RNZ / Diego Opatowski

Mr Little had 70 percent of the union vote, but much less support from MPs in his narrow win over his closest rival, Grant Robertson.

General secretary of the Engineering, Printing and Manufacturing Union (EPMU), Bill Newsome, said while the union did endorse Mr Little, talk of delegats being told who to vote for was nonsense.

He said they were given a very clear message.

"And they were quite clearly told that at the end of the day their vote is a secret vote, they vote online, they vote directly with the party.

"Their vote doesn't come back through the union and they were told that ulitmately their vote is an individual vote by individual choice."

Mr Newsome said Andrew Little would be a very strong, effective and empathetic leader.

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