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Carter tipped for demotion, Street may rise

Sun 13 Jun 2010 In: New Zealand Daily News View at Wayback View at NDHA

Hon. Chris Carter MP Speculation is mounting that New Zealand's highest-ever ranking openly gay Member of Parliament could be due for a demotion. Chris Carter became the country's first sitting MP to willingly divulge his homosexuality when he publicly came out in December 1993, just weeks after winning the Te Atatu seat for Labour. He progressively rose through Labour's caucus to become Minister of Conservation and then landed the  senior Education portfolio in the Clark administration. He is currently Labour's opposition spokesperson on foreign affairs. However, a minor irregularity in the administration of Carter's parliamentary credit card usage is believed enough to give Labour leader Phil Goff a chance to demote Carter. This, and other predicted demotions relating to more significant credit card issues currently obsessing the political media, would give Goff an opportunity to let newer MPs rise through the ranks and gain experience ahead of the next general election. Maryan Street MP Several gay political commentators are currently whispering that as Carter was sometimes derided as being part of the inner-circle of "Clark luvvies" his disappearance from Labour's front ranks would give Goff a heaven-sent opportunity to disassociate his leadership and team from the Clark administration. However, Carter's loss could be Maryan Street's gain. Street, an openly lesbian MP and past president of the Labour party, is tipped by the NZ Herald's respected political commentator Audrey Young as a strong contender for the foreign affairs role. It comes as Carter is reportedly considering quitting Parliament because he is tired of being attacked as a "luxury-loving gay boy". In an interview with theHerald on Sunday, Carter says: "I just have to make a decision: Do I want to keep putting up with this? "Do you want to live your life with this stuff going on all the time? You know, I love being an MP. But there might well be a point soon where I think this is just not worth it." Carter says people are trying to paint an image of 'these luxury-loving gay boys who are swanning around, flowers to the boyfriend," he said. "I have lots of faults ... but arrogance, pride and love of luxury are not among them."' Carter's partner Kaiser said the expenses scandal had placed a strain on their relationship. You can discuss this New Zealand gay community news story in the Forum    

Credit: Daily News staff

First published: Sunday, 13th June 2010 - 11:22am

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