David Cunliffe just making phone calls; nothing suspicious about that

David Cunliffe is just making some phone calls, and isn't sure why everyone is so worked up about it

David Cunliffe is just making some phone calls. He’s not sure why everyone’s so worked up about it

Backbench MP David Cunliffe today told Labour Leader David Shearer that he had “just been making phone calls” and that there was “certainly nothing strange about that.”

In recent days, several senior MPs have reported receiving bizarre calls from Mr. Cunliffe, in which he gave them compliments and invited them to dinner.

The conversation between the two men happened this afternoon after Social Development Spokeswoman Jacinda Ardern reported to Mr. Shearer that she had been phoned by Cunliffe late last night. During the call, he reportedly told her that she was “awfully pretty” and would make a much better deputy leader than “that fat fuck” Grant Robertson.

Cunliffe today described the phone calls as “completely normal” and “just casual banter between friends.” He went on to describe a conversation he’d had with fellow Backbencher Ross Robertson earlier this morning, in which the two MPs discussed a wide variety of entirely commonplace things, such as movies, sports and the arrangement of portfolios in the Labour shadow cabinet.

David Shearer today told a group of reporters that he was “completely satisfied” with Cunliffe’s explanation, and that there were no further plans for disciplinary action. “Look, I’ve talked to David this afternoon” he said. “And he has given me thorough assurances that everything is just one hundred percent normal and fine. As I’m sure he’s already told you, he was just making some phone calls, and I think we can all agree that there’s nothing suspicious about that.”

Mr. Cunliffe will be holding a solo press conference tomorrow morning for “no reason really”; just to have “a casual chat” with the media about his vision for the country’s future.