David Shearer stages coup against self, declares ‘it’s done’

New leaders David Shearer and Grant Robertson had a spring in their step this morning after wrestling control of the party from themselves.

New leaders David Shearer and Grant Robertson had a spring in their step this morning after wrestling control of the party from themselves.

In a shock move this morning, David Shearer has successfully challenged himself for the leadership of the Labour Party, winning a bid to replace former leader David Shearer after weeks of internal instability.

“There, it’s done,” declared a fresh-faced Shearer at a post-challenge press conference, a stark contrast to the tired, embattled former leader David Shearer.

“For weeks, this party has endured continuous, destructive speculation about its future and its leader,” he said. “While much of this was manufactured and stirred up by forces outside our caucus, I made the decision this morning that I could no longer, in good conscience, allow it to go on, because it was distracting from the issues that matter to ordinary kiwis, such as how Labour will help them, and how Labour is good.

“In addition to this, I know that many in this caucus have been hungry for a change for some time, and so to them I say again: it’s done. I hope that this will allow us to put any talk of disloyalty behind us and move forward, united, with the single aim of winning opposition at next year’s election.”

Shearer has been under pressure from his caucus to resign for some time, and sources report that he brought the situation to a head this morning when he presented himself with a letter, co-signed by a majority of his MPs, that expressed that he no longer had confidence in himself.

After being presented with the letter, Shearer reportedly acted with defiance, attempting to jump out the window of his office so that no one could catch him and he couldn’t be deposed. After failing to do this several times, Shearer fell from the window and badly injured himself. He was later helped off the pavement by his caucus.

A leadership vote followed, which Shearer won by default after every MP in the 34-member caucus voted for themselves.

Shearer described the whole incident as a “great day for the Labour Party” and “a resounding victory for me.” He announced that he had selected as his deputy Grant Robertson, who would step in to replace outgoing deputy leader Grant Robertson.

The move marks a definitive end to a long series of attempts on the part of Shearer to placate his caucus and make them like him more.

Two weeks ago, Shearer had attempted to appease the caucus by making them lamingtons, but this backfired when a majority said they thought lamingtons were “yuck.” Friends of Shearer say he remains bitter about that incident, believing they were only pretending to dislike lamingtons to be upset with him.

But Shearer now hopes that his courageous move to roll himself will finally satisfy those who wanted to see him deposed.

“Yeah, look, it’s never an easy thing to do,” he said this morning. “No one likes to give the boot to a leader who’s worked really long, really hard for his party, but it’s as I’ve been saying; this has been rumbling on for a while, and it had to happen at some point.”

Robertson, who is widely believed to have been one of those scheming against Shearer, admitted there had been concerns about leadership in the caucus, but said that he was satisfied by the result of this morning’s coup.

“I think this puts to bed a lot of the issues that we were really worried about,” he told media after the press conference. “We wanted a change; we got that, so we can’t really complain now.”

Shearer said that he wasn’t sure whether he’d remain Leader of the Opposition through to the next election, but was certain that he’d remain Leader of the Labour Party.

“You never know what will happen, really,” said Shearer. “There’s always the Greens.”