“I betrayed Lorraine,” says NDP MHA George Murphy

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New Democrat MHA George Murphy says he feels like “Judas” for signing a letter calling NDP Leader Lorraine Michael’s leadership into question.

NDP MHA George Murphy

Speaking to The Telegram, Murphy said he didn’t sleep last night, and he’s having a hard time dealing with it all.

“I’m feeling like I betrayed Lorraine, and that wasn’t the intent,” he said. “It was a mistake, and that’s all I can say about it.”

All four NDP MHAs signed a letter sent to Michael Sunday, calling for a leadership convention in 2014 to review her leadership.

Murphy said he signed on because he wanted a leadership review so that the party could express its full solidarity with Michael.

He said he wanted the party to “come together and, I guess, give that ringing endorsement to Lorraine Michael.”

But that’s not how the letter came across when it broke in the media.

The letter seemed to question Michael’s ability to recruit quality candidates, and win the 2015 election.

“With two years remaining before the next scheduled Provincial General Election in 2015, we believe that a Leadership Convention in 2014 is critical if there is to be party renewal and growth in support for the New Democratic Party in Newfoundland and Labrador,” the letter said, bearing Murphy’s signature alongside Christopher Mitchelmore, Gerry Rogers and Dale Kirby. “We collectively make this request out of genuine concern for our Party’s ability to attract quality candidates and build on our level of public support in advance of the 2015 election.”

Murphy said that, at this point, he thinks the party should back away from the idea of a leadership review; instead, he said he just wants to put it all behind him and stand behind Michael.”

But this doesn’t totally smooth things over, as far as he’s concerned.

Only six people had a copy of that letter — the four MHAs who signed it, Michael, and the NDP president.

Somebody leaked it.

Whoever it was, Murphy said, betrayed the party confidence.

“That was absolutely insulting to me,” he said. “That crushed me.”

Organizations: New Democratic Party, Leadership Convention

Geographic location: Newfoundland and Labrador

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Recent comments

  • Craig
    November 05, 2013 - 17:02

    I expect Mr. Murphy's popularity has dropped a couple cents a litre through his handling of this incident. Not exactly the image of a confident-strong political figure that the people would feel comfortable to elect. The NDP flourished during the last election because the anti-PC vote had no where else to go but the NDP. The Liberals were in disarray and the NDP lucked out. That won't happen this time and Mr. Kirby realizes that steps have to be taken. Maybe in hindsight he should've handled things differently but kudos to him for sticking to his guns and even though I have never voted NDP, I certainly would vote for him now...

  • Gerard Lee
    October 23, 2013 - 22:27

    George,stand your ground, your well respected, people look up to you .

  • carogers
    October 23, 2013 - 08:07

    Shock is the only word I can say as to how I feel about this matter. I have been a supporter of Loraine Michael for years and to see her own turn against her in this way is difficult to understand.

  • Dave
    October 23, 2013 - 07:37

    This is awesome. A little bit of success and they cannot handle it at all. Kirby should be booted from caucus, and the other sheep should be ashamed. I voted NDP last time and will NOT be this time. The problem is, there is nobody left to vote for in this province.

  • Rick
    October 23, 2013 - 02:56

    Pathetic twerp. Four years is way too long for it to be feeding off the public trough.

  • PoliticalMoo
    October 23, 2013 - 00:57

    Little Miss Micheal, would stay for a cycle, paving the NDP's way, but along came some lamer, who then tried to shame her, and didn't want her to stay!

  • NDP Blunder
    October 23, 2013 - 00:41

    How is it possible that a woman who has lead the NDP in the Province to #1 needs a leadership review? These are the mistakes of naive inexperienced politicians. George Murphy is surprised the letter was leaked. Is he kidding. Lorraine Michael is a smart, smart woman. Do you think she would walk away without a fight. Certainly sounds like George and others were manipulated by Dale Kirby the snake in all this. A leadership review to endorse the leader. The people of the Province are too smart for that line George. You fell for that? I hope you feel like Judas. But I'm more worried about the impact on the NDP party. We let women have leadership positions but only when we think there is no chance to lead. I'd like to see Dale Kirby resign over this blunder as he is clearly the mastermind who has made it clear to anyone who would listen how he should be leader. Wake up NDP brass if this guy can undermine the rise of the NDP fortunes in the Province this badly we know who has to go and it is most definitely not Lorraine.

  • Edmund
    October 22, 2013 - 23:08

    How can one expect these folk to represent anyone or anything when they don't even have the basic ability to know what they are saying in an email. It just goes to show the uselessness and inabilities of our elected officials. Maybe they should be more professional and give consideration to what they really want to say in documents. A true case of keeping your friends close and your enemies closer.

  • Dave
    October 22, 2013 - 22:56

    Anyone that pays attention to politics in this province already knows that Lorraine Michael's leadership is questionable. It is why I never even voted during our last provincial election because you were picking the lesser of the 3 evils and Michael would have done a worst job then our so called premier we have right now.

  • Domino Chaulk.
    October 22, 2013 - 21:32

    You and the rest of your colleagues should be ashamed of yourselves.This was a gutless thing that was done to your leader .The female in the group is such a huge disappointment to me..I thought she had some integrity but she is all about herself .Just when I was starting to have some respect foer the NDP party you guys do this.How can the voters trust people like you and the rest of these jokers.Good luck Lorraine with your future

  • Pierre Neary
    October 22, 2013 - 20:29

    The Big Orange Elephant in the room had to be dealt with but could this have possibly been handled worse? Amateur hour.

  • Paul Hussey
    October 22, 2013 - 20:29

    Knowing Lorraine, I think that if she was elected as Premier of this province, that she would assemble a team of experts who would lead this province properly. And she is just the woman to do so. Paul Hussey

  • Bet
    October 22, 2013 - 20:14

    Is George stating in a round about way that he did not understand what he signed?

  • Tony
    October 22, 2013 - 19:38

    Go back to the taxi. Its where you belong.

  • Cathy Sheehan
    October 22, 2013 - 18:37

    If what George is saying is indeed true, he should be at Ms. Michael's side. If only 4 knew of the letter I would give the leak award to the one or two who would most benefit. Greed & backstabbing win this one for sure. Ms. Michael deserves so much better Shame on you who managed to find a way to betray your Leader. All involved should be forced to resign. p.s. cowardly way to inform Ms. Michael, don't you think. thank you

  • Graham Bursey
    October 22, 2013 - 18:05

    Maybe its time for Dale Kirby to rethink his options. Don't go away made Dale just go away. You have done more harm to the party in the last 24 hours than most would do in a lifetime. Join Dunderdale Mr Kirby you would fit right in.. Thanks George for being man enough to admit you made a mistake.

  • Robert
    October 22, 2013 - 18:02

    If I were a voter (and I am one!) the only saving grace here is that I don't get to vote for some 2 years. Now if there was some way for the Liberals and PCs to not milk this perhaps the voters will forgive/forget but we know that will not happen! Pity! I was actually getting curious how a NDP government would function but dysfunction seems to be the way it would go. Perhaps just perhaps if the "leaker" fessed up it might patch things up.

  • karen
    October 22, 2013 - 17:55

    Don't know for sure what's coming down here but I think that some imbecile or many within the caucus should go back to school and educate themselves. Hey George, this is a lame excuse, any educated person don't sign their name to anything without knowing the whole story. So, do you or your colleagues expect us to vote for any of you? Lorraine, you are doing an exceptional job, keep it up!! Jack, why no comment from you? I've been NDP for years but now I have to second guess. Why fix something that isn't broke. Really, get with the program people!!

  • John
    October 22, 2013 - 16:42

    Hold on a second - I thought it was known already that Lorraine Michael was the one to leak the email, and go to the media with the story? Is that not the case? Are we saying it's someone else? Another big question ... who WROTE the email? Did all members see the email before signing it? Seems to be a lot of back-peddling and in-fighting on both sides. Say what you like, Dunderdale has a big smile on her face today, no doubt.