Prime Minister John Key has used Labour's leadership woes to take a pot shot at the party, as demoted MP David Cunliffe's electorate branch looks likely to keep the issue in the spotlight through a complaint about his treatment.
The party's 34 MPs yesterday unanimously backed leader David Shearer after he called an urgent vote to put speculations of a challenge by Cunliffe to rest.
Cunliffe was stripped of his economic development portfolio and banished from fifth on the front bench to the unranked back bench for repeatedly refusing to back Shearer at last weekend's annual conference.
Leadership speculation overshadowed the conference and Labour's housing policy announcement.
Speaking to reporters in Cambodia, Key late last night waded into drama, declaring: "Labour are in a war that has now broken out in public."
"They fundamentally do not like each other, they fundamentally do not trust each other."
Key said he's happy to go "up against" Shearer in the 2014 election, but said he wouldn't "bet the ranch" on him remaining leader that long.
Is anyone willing to wager on how long it'll be before there's a post on Red Alert, Tumeke or The Standard accusing John Key of having failed to file a pecuniary interests return declaring an interest in any ranch, be it in New Zealand or elsewhere (Texas?), and decrying him for being a Rich Prick who has the nerve to holiday overseas?