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Former Deputy PM belittles sexuality talk

Wed 22 Oct 2014 In: New Zealand Daily News

Michael Cullen says it's "unlikely to be a major factor" Former Deputy Prime Minister Michael Cullen says Grant Robertson’s sexuality “is no more relevant as a qualification or disqualification than the fact that John Key Is rich, Helen Clark is a woman, or Rob Muldoon was vertically challenged”. In a piece on blog site Fundamental, he says he believes Robertson is the best choice to lead Labour, citing his likeability, trustworthiness and communication skills among his reasons. In addressing reservations about Robertson due to his sexuality, Cullen jokes “I am tempted to quote Pope Francis on this but as a lifelong atheist that might seem insincere.” He points to last year’s leadership contest, saying “despite the none two subtle dog whistling that went on, Grant was easily the most authentic Kiwi bloke of the three contestants.” Cullen adds “it is no more relevant as a qualification or disqualification than the fact that John Key Is rich, Helen Clark is a woman, or Rob Muldoon was vertically challenged. “And third, Kiwis attitudes are changing very fast. By 2017, after three years of getting to know Grant, it is unlikely to be a major factor.” Cullen was a Labour MP from 1999 to 2008, and Deputy Prime Minister from 2002 to 2008. He says choosing Robertson has been a hard decision, because he is close friends with another contender David Parker – but believes his value is higher as Finance spokesperson than as Leader.     

Credit: GayNZ.com Daily News staff

First published: Wednesday, 22nd October 2014 - 2:08pm

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