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Colleagues ask for MP to be given space

Thu 17 Jun 2010 In: New Zealand Daily News View at Wayback

Labour colleagues are asking for an end to "the lynch mob mentality", so Chris Carter can be given space to consider his future. Trevor Mallard Carter is on stress leave from Parliament, following intense scrutiny over his credit card and travel spending. Senior Labour MP Trevor Mallard has taken to the party's Red Alert blog to point out that 'we all make mistakes at work'. "Chris is pretty badly hurt. And he is damaged. That is obvious. He has to decide what he wants to do," Mallard writes. "My appeal is for us to be reasonable, forget the lynch mob mentality, and let him work out what is best for him, for Labour and for New Zealand. And give him space to do that." Mallard adds he does not accept the view that his colleague has been picked on because he is gay. "He is picked on because there is a common view that he has travelled too much. But there is no doubt that lots of people are putting an extra boot into Chris because he is gay. One only has to look at Whaleoil (yes I did) or many comments on Kiwiblog to see the bile that homophobes are writing." Mallard's call for Carter to be given space has been echoed by Wellington Central and Rainbow Labour MP Grant Robertson. "We all really feel for Chris. Obviously I've known Chris for a long time and have a great deal of respect for the work that he's done in a number of areas," Robertson tells GayNZ.com. "But he has acknowledged there was a need for him to be stood down. He obviously, as he himself said in his statement, has been under intense pressure – and I think everyone's now seen the visual reminders of that pressure – and that's a very hard situation for Chris." Robertson says whatever decision Carter makes, the glbt voice within Labour is secure with the strong rainbow caucus of himself, Maryan Street and Charles Chauvel. Carter was a Vice-Patron of GAP/Rainbow Wellington for a number of years and Rainbow Wellington says it has observed the demotion 'of an MP and former Minister who has been so supportive of our communities for so many years' with sadness. "We are sorry to see his evident distress at recent events, and we wish him and Peter [Kaiser] well, whatever decisions on their future they decide to take." Rainbow Wellington is congratulating its three vice-patrons who were promoted in the Labour reshuffle; Robertson, Street and Chauvel. "It is particularly good news that the Foreign Affairs portfolio will continue with an MP, Maryan, who is fully aware of those important human rights issues with which we are so concerned, especially with our membership of ILG," the group says. "New Zealand's traditional whole-hearted support for the relevant international covenants and of human rights issues in general, has been watered down on some occasions by the current Foreign Minister, and it is an important area for the opposition to keep a watchful eye on."    

Credit: GayNZ.com Daily News staff

First published: Thursday, 17th June 2010 - 10:59am

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