New Zealand’s Labor Party suspended MP Gaurav Sharma for what Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern called “repeated breaches” of caucus rules last week.
Ardern had called an emergency caucus meeting on Tuesday afternoon, where it was unanimously agreed to suspend Sharma, who recently made numerous allegations that he and others had been bullied within party.
Ardern said she had seen no evidence to support Sharma’s claims.
The Prime Minister said Sharma was invited to the caucus meeting but did not attend. The decision means he will no longer participate in any caucus events or activities, unless the caucus agrees, until at least December.
“The team has been very clear that to function as a political party in a place where open debate and dialogue is so essential, you have to trust your colleagues, you have to feel that you can speak openly and freely. “, Ardern said in a post-meeting press conference.
“That sense of trust has been shattered by repeated breaches of our caucus rules over the past five days.
“There are some very real issues facing New Zealanders at the moment – as government MPs our focus should be on responding to these rather than talking about ourselves,” he said. she declared.
Sharma was approached to comment on the decision to suspend him.
In a newspaper column and social media posts last week, Sharma lashed out at party figures, alleging mismanagement and intimidation, and on Monday posted what he said were screenshots of text messages from Labor colleagues supporting his claims.
“I have seen nothing to substantiate the claims and allegations of mismanagement and intimidation that have been made by Gaurav,” Ardern said Tuesday.
A mediation process will be provided to resolve the issues, if all parties agree. Sharma’s suspension will be reviewed in December. He will be allowed to return to caucus if confidence can be restored, Ardern said.
“But in making the decision to suspend, the caucus made it clear that the team reserves the right to reverse the decision at any time, should the rules continue to be broken.”