Sutton Must Immediately Resign From Labour Party

  • Dr Lockwood Smith

To retain any credibility with farmers, Jim Sutton must immediately resign from the Labour Party after its coalition deal with the Alliance, Agriculture Minister Lockwood Smith told Clutha-Southland farmers today.

And Dr Smith is prepared to fully consult Mr Sutton on all agriculture issues if he becomes an Independent MP with a strong rural focus.

Dr Smith has said the new extreme left-wing coalition would be "the end of the world" for the farming sector, as the biggest-spending, biggest-taxing, biggest-borrowing and most anti-farmer Government in New Zealand's history.

"Mr Sutton privately agrees with me.

"In 1995, Mr Sutton said the Labour Party he belonged to could never go into coalition with 'the swivel-eyed, NewLabour neo-Marxists who prepared the Alliance budget'.

"These are strong words with which to describe Jim Anderton and his party, but very fair, and exactly what farmers think.

"While I disagree with Mr Sutton on many issues, he does have something to offer agriculture and rural New Zealand.

"But he can offer nothing while associated with an extreme left-wing, anti-farmer coalition."

Dr Smith said farmers should not hold Mr Sutton accountable for the Labour/Alliance deal because, as a moderate Labour MP, it is unlikely his left-wing urban colleagues would have told him anything about it in advance.

"But now the deal is done, he must disassociate himself from it immediately if he wants to retain enough credibility to serve rural New Zealand.

"If he does the right thing and becomes an Independent MP with a strong rural focus, I am prepared to fully consult him on all agriculture issues."