Kirby says he’s not sure about staying in the NDP

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New Democratic MHA Dale Kirby doesn’t know whether he’ll remain a member of the NDP following a week of turmoil and fighting within his party’s caucus.

Speaking to The Telegram today, Kirby said the only thing he can say for sure is that he intends to see his House of Assembly term through until 2015.

Asked if that means he may leave the NDP caucus to sit as an independent, he said he’s not sure.

“I can’t honestly tell you what’s going to happen here,” Kirby said. “I mean, I have no idea at this point. I had no idea this week was going to turn into what it did. I don’t think I’ve got a satisfactory response for you on that.”

The party remains deeply divided, after the four MHAs sent a letter to leader Lorraine Michael this week questioning her ability to recruit candidates to run for the party and calling for a party leadership convention.

New Democrat MHA Christopher Mitchelmore took to Facebook to say that he still wants a leadership review to look at whether Lorraine Michael is still the best person to be at the helm.

“In my opinion this should have been seen as an opportunity to stimulate party renewal and growth, when it comes to engaging party building from the grassroots, establishing your policies and messaging across Newfoundland & Labrador under a rigid timeline,” Mitchelmore wrote.

On Tuesday, MHAs George Murphy and Gerry Rogers have backtracked a bit, saying that they wanted a leadership review as a means of party renewal. Murphy said he hoped the party would give Michael a “ringing endorsement” and in the wake of it all, he feels like he betrayed Michael.

But Mitchelmore is sticking to his guns, saying he meant what he said in the original letter.

“A request was made for a Leadership Convention to be held. That is quite clear,” he wrote on Facebook. He added, “The letter acknowledges the good work of Lorraine, it would not have excluded Lorraine Michael. I believe there needs to be mechanisms for Leadership Reviews and Convention calls in any political party. I agree this can not be determined by Caucus alone or a Party Executive but the party members. I stand by this decision to call for a Leadership Convention.”

As for Kirby, he was batting back at accusations from Murphy made on the radio this morning, saying that there were threats and intimidation to get him to sign the letter.

“George Murphy is a lot bigger fella than me, so it certainly wasn't physical intimidation,” Kirby said. “Despite what he has alleged, at no time did I threaten to go to the media if they didn’t send this letter.”

Kirby has been the most vocal critic of Michael as the whole political fight played out. Speaking to the Telegram today, he questioned her decision to go to the media before talking to the caucus about the leadership concerns.

“The problems we had before, have been made more grave in recent days,” he said. “Going on the suppertime news on Monday before speaking or even communicating with all of the members of the caucus was very unfortunate.”

A lot of the controversy has centred about who exactly leaked the NDP letter to the media. At one point, only six people had copies of it — the four MHAs who signed it, Michael, and party president Kathleen Connors.

Kirby said it wasn’t him who leaked it; he said after it was written, the four MHAs talked about exactly that.

“Once all of the signatures were on the letter, I looked at Gerry Rogers and I said, ‘Right now, I tell you, I commit to making sure this is not leaked,’” Kirby said. “I looked at her and said, ‘I will not leak this letter.’”

 

Organizations: Leadership Reviews and Convention, NDP, CBC News Party Executive

Geographic location: Newfoundland Labrador

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Recent comments

  • Frank
    October 25, 2013 - 18:14

    This guy is a perfect fit for the Fiberals

  • Heather Adams
    October 24, 2013 - 12:46

    The unfortunate part of this is that ALL of the people involved hurt the NDP party by going to the media....This is an NDP Party issue that should have been discussed within the party and not with the public......There goes all the growth they have achieved in the last couple of years.....Whoever leaked it definitely had a personal agenda....

  • Jerome
    October 24, 2013 - 03:38

    “Going on the suppertime news on Monday before speaking or even communicating with all of the members of the caucus was very unfortunate.” It was also "unfortunate" that a letter calling for their leader's resignation was written while she was in India.

  • Danny
    October 24, 2013 - 02:52

    Dale pretty much dug his own grave.Good bye Mr. Kirby.

  • Marshall Art
    October 23, 2013 - 22:59

    Holy crap !!! Would you even buy a used car from this guy ?. Creepy.

  • Wondering
    October 23, 2013 - 21:54

    I'm just wondering if this was a plan in the making---to cross the house and go to the PC party right from the beginning of Kirby's campaign. There has been much damage to the NDP party...It may have been his goal. Shame on the rest for even questioning Lorraine's leadership at this time.

  • Graham
    October 23, 2013 - 19:41

    Don't let the door hit you on the way out Dale.

  • Tony
    October 23, 2013 - 19:27

    Way to go guys, you all just put the NDP Last again with you stupid stunt. Now what is next ? The Party will never recover from this. No matter who cries in public or resigns it will make no difference. Who wants a party full of back stabbers. It was too good to be true!

  • Gary Reany
    October 23, 2013 - 19:02

    Lorraine Michael is erudite, intelligent, eloquent and possibly the most honourable political leader in Canada. Of course she has to go! Way to go NDP caucus...

  • Guy Incognito
    October 23, 2013 - 18:43

    Kirby is sticking to his story and is being thrown under the bus. Mitchelmore is sticking to his guns too. I respect these guys. Murphy is acting like he is in a panic. Taking no responsibility for his role. Rogers also disappoints. I will vote for Kirby next time. He only speaks out of one side of his mouth.

  • Go Away
    October 23, 2013 - 18:02

    Go away. None of the 4 Cut Throats gang are worthy of the NDP banner. That is PC and Liberal behavior. The NDP are better off starting from scratch again with no seats than having you four! I hold the NDP in high regard, and Miss Michael as well, and NONE of you four!

  • Robert
    October 23, 2013 - 17:35

    I'm sure the Cabana Party would welcome you with open arms!

  • Kodger73
    October 23, 2013 - 14:54

    Dale the Liberals look pretty good???

  • Still-an-NDP
    October 23, 2013 - 14:17

    I believe Dale Kirby and his wife (NDP executive) orchestrated the whole thing. He for some reason dislikes Ms. Michael and is not pleased with the way she is running things, so he puts a plan in motion to have her resign. I think Mr. Kirby should resign immediately. He is a rotten apple. Can't be trusted. Watching his behavior last night on CBC was enough for me. He is conniving and deceitful. If the party is going to move forward and kick start the momentum it had previous to this debacle, he must go. Traders and backstabbers of this kind will only create friction and animosity, leading to damage within the party they will never recover from.

    • Dee
      October 23, 2013 - 19:27

      I 100% agree....and Mr. Kirby I hope for your sake you do not get caught in your lies.

    • Dee
      October 23, 2013 - 19:31

      Makes me wonder why he would make a comment that he would not leak the story. Maybe he did as he is the only one with an agenda to do so... or someone did it on his behalf.

  • Still-an-NDP
    October 23, 2013 - 14:14

    I believe Dale Kirby and his wife (NDP executive) orchestrated the whole thing. He for some reason dislikes Ms. Michael and is not pleased with the way she is running things, so he puts a plan in motion to have her resign. I think Mr. Kirby should resign immediately. He is a rotten apple. Can't be trusted. Watching his behavior last night on CBC was enough for me. He is conniving and deceitful. If the party is going to move forward and kick start the momentum it had previous to this debacle, he must go. Traders and backstabbers of this kind will only create friction and animosity, leading to damage within the party they will never recover from.

  • Paul Walsh
    October 23, 2013 - 13:58

    I don't believe anything Dale Kirby says. It is said with too much anger and vitrol in his tone. This connotes an agenda on his part.

  • Political Chill
    October 23, 2013 - 13:16

    They should leave each other alone. KD's lack of popularity is probably behind it - maybe? If the PC's are no longer as popular, their support falls more to the Liberals than NDP. LM might be the most popular opposition leader in Canada, however she is NOT the official Leader of the Opposition of the NL House of Assembly. The NDP may well hold the balance of power in NL by 2015 but will not likely form the opposition. However, the Federal NDP IS the Official Opposition and really need to maintain that position. The NDP have just lost NS, and the mayoral race in St. John's and St. John's South - sort of - and need every (Federal) seat they can in 2015. The Federal politics are probably overshadowing Provincial politics - might be good idea to dump on Steve - even if you are Conservative but not Thomas. Chill! as the youth say these days - even LM is cool enough to know that. The quarrel is letting down a lot of vunerable sectors - let the Federal NDP sort out their own affairs.

  • brian
    October 23, 2013 - 13:01

    Seems at least to me that Mitchelmore has learned nothing in the last 72 hours. All of this kerfuffle probably could have been avoided if these 4 keystone cops had the decency and good sense to bring their concerns to Ms. Michael personally. Instead they cowardly sent an impersonal email, like a thief in the night. Now he's on facebook talking more rhetoric and bull about stimulation discussion and growth. No one has grown the NDP in this province more than lorraine michael. The four Benedict Arnolds can't weasel out of what they did and they will suffer because of it. They have set the NDP back at least as long as Michael has been leader. Pathetic. My advice stay off facebook and go door to door and apologize to those who elected you.

  • J. Murray
    October 23, 2013 - 12:48

    Party requires a leadership review, and a new leader to become an attractive choice & challenger in the next election. Lorraine may excite a small base; that does not get the party elected as a government.

  • Mike
    October 23, 2013 - 11:30

    Why is he making all of his announcements on social media like facebook when he needs to answer direct questions from party members and the media about his actions in this very public mess? Afraid to face a 70 year old woman, the voters or his own party members? It is time to come out of hiding and face the public.