Labour Party leader Phil Goff this afternoon confirmed that MP Dwayne Baker has been suspended from the party’s caucus.
In a statement released to the media Mr Goff said that the relationship between the Labour Party leadership and Mr Baker had become increasingly strained and that, effective immediately, Mr Baker would be suspended from the caucus.
A disciplinary hearing is being held later this week to determine whether Mr Baker can remain within the Labour Party.
But sources within the party say it is likely that Baker will be thrown out of the party.
The suspension came after a series of incidents involving Mr Baker.
But matters came to a head after Baker made an inflammatory speech at Waitangi on Sunday.
In his speech Baker called Phil Goff a “square” and “like, a total nerd” who needed to “go take a dump and clean out some of that s**t inside him.”
Baker, who calls himself “the Dude”, is a controversial and polarising character within the party, and has clashed frequently with Labour Party leaders.
In December Baker broke parliamentary rules by passing a joint around the chamber. Upon being berated by the Speaker, Lockwood Smith, Baker called him a “total, like, Nazi” for having so many rules.
Baker also got into bother for a radio interview he gave on Radio Sport last week. During that interview he said he was not especially interested in sleeping with celebrities, saying “I’ll bang anything that is female, has a pulse and at least one leg, famous or not.”
During the same interview he also confirmed that he was keen on “bagging” some of the female members of Labour’s caucus.
Baker told the radio host Tony Veitch that he was “up for anything” involving Ruth Dyson.
Baker was already on a warning after another radio appearance. In November he told Radio New Zealand that he loved being a Labour MP, but planned to vote National at the next election, because John Key was the “best motherf***ing PM we’ve ever had.”
Mr Goff has not ruled out a return to the Labour caucus for Mr Baker.
“Whether Mr Baker can return to the caucus is a matter for him to determine,” said Mr Goff.
“If Mr Baker is prepared to commit to the ideals and values of the New Zealand Labour Party, then a return may be possible, pending of course the determination of the disciplinary committee now convened to consider his situation.”
Mr Goff said that it would not be appropriate to comment on Baker’s behaviour while the matter was going through a disciplinary process, and that he would be making no further public statement on the matter in the meantime.
However, Mr Baker has hit out at the suspension, describing it as “totally gay”.
Baker claimed that the speech he gave in Waitangi was an innocent mistake.
“I wasn’t even supposed to be there. I was with my mate Baz and we were driving up north to check out the beaches and the bitches. After a few cones and a pile of mushrooms we got the munchies big-time, and then Baz reckoned we should gatecrash Waitangi.
“Like Baz said, there’s always a big feed at the marae.
“There were people everywhere. Someone in the crowd recognised me and asked to speak. Man I was so wasted I don’t even remember what I said. How can I be held responsible for what I don’t remember?
“They were some awesome mushrooms though, man. You want some? I’ve got a few left if you’ve got the cash.”
Mr Baker said he was not concerned about the suspension, or the threat of expulsion from the Labour Party.
“They can’t keep The Dude down. If I go then you can take the ‘party’ out of ‘Labour Party’. Ain’t no sunshine when I’m gone.”
But Baker also confirmed that he was willing to reconcile with the party’s hierarchy.
“Man, I’ve never had this much money before. Do you know how much pot my salary can buy? Why would I mess that up?
“So here’s the deal, Goffster. Put me somewhere high on the list so I get into Parliament again, and I promise not to turn up to a single caucus meeting or parliamentary session. I won’t interfere with your fascist rules and procedures.”
Baker is not ruling out forming another political party, if he is evicted from the Labour Party.
“Another party? You bet. If there’s one thing The Dude knows it’s how to throw a party. I’ll bring the bong if you supply the kegs.”