NZ Labour leadership hopeful: Judge me on my politics, not my sexuality

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New Zealand Labour leadership hopeful Grant Robertson has called for people to judge him on his politics, and not his sexuality.

Out politician Robertson threw his hat in the ring to become leader of the opposition party yesterday, after current leader David Cunliffe resigned to trigger a leadership challenge and seek a new mandate.

The MP for Wellington Central, who topped the party caucus ballot at the last leadership election in 2013 but lost out due to a split voting system, is currently polling in second place behind Mr Cunliffe.

He told the New Zealand Herald of his seuality: “There may well be some people who raise that. That’s fine. But that’s not where I think I’ll be judged.

“I’ll be judged, I’m sure, on my ability to reflect Labour values.

“It’s an aspect of who I am just as I like rugby and drink beer and a few other things.

“What I am clear about is I think we need a new generation of leadership. That’s the generational change that we require now to meet the new challenges that the party has got.”

Mr Robertson entered into a civil partnership with his partner Alf – who he met through a gay rugby team – in 2009.

If successful, he would be the party’s first gay leader.