“I betrayed Lorraine,” says NDP MHA George Murphy

Published on October 22, 2013
NDP MHA George Murphy

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

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.”