Labour must have seen some bad polling because until yesterday the Prime Minister was expressing confidence in her hapless Health Minister.
Now Jacinda Ardern has weakly accepted his resignation, just in time for David Clark to head home for the school holidays.
Beleaguered Health Minister David Clark has resigned as a minister and left Cabinet.
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has appointed Education Minister Chris Hipkins to the Health portfolio, saying he will hold that role until the election.
“Post-election I intend to reassess who is best placed to take the health portfolio forward,” Ardern said.
Clark made the surprise announcement at the Beehive on Thursday morning. He had intended to be in Palmerston North cutting the ribbon on a cancer machine.
Clark will stay on as an MP and contest his electorate of Dunedin North at the upcoming election.
This is the worst possible situation for the Government. They’ve stuck by Clark for way longer than they should have, and the mistakes and embarrassments just mounted.
He was a dead man walking and should have been gone as soon as we reached Level One, but Ardern stuck by him and the Minister then chucked Ashley Bloomfield under the bus. The outrage in the public was palpable and Labour will have been thumped for that.
So he had to go, cauterising the wound. But they’ve still had weeks of cock-ups and bad news, they’ve taken a hit AND lost a minister.
Labour will now be able to blame anything bad inside Health on him for at least until the election as their scapegoat is already hanging from the town gates.
However Ardern now looks weak, and the gloss is definitely coming off the princess.
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