Two days ago, federal NDP leader Jack Layton announced at a press conference he would be stepping down temporarily to battle a new strain of cancer.
Today, after the NDP caucus unanimously endorsed Nycole Turnell as Layton’s choice for interim leader, Skeena-Bulkley Valley MP Nathan Cullen addressed local media saying there are no plans for a leadership convention. He also kiboshed any talk that he would be pursuing the leadership anytime soon.
Calling today’s caucus meeting “incredibly emotional,” Cullen said NDP members left with a feeling of unity and determination. “Our determination as a group has never been more resolute,” he said.
Images of Layton’s press conference showed the NDP leader as looking much thinner from his appearance on the campaign trail in April. He spoke in a semi-hoarse voice that was almost unrecognizable, saying he was only stepping down temporarily and promised he would return as leader for the fall session of Parliament.
While the outpouring of support for Layton stretched across the political spectrum, some voiced skepticism the NDP leader would actually return to politics. But Cullen said Layton would get better, and there was no talk in the caucus meeting about a leadership convention.
“When we say ‘interim’ for Nycole, that’s what we mean,” said Cullen.
Cullen was also asked if he would run for leadership, but he said his total focus and determination was with the riding of Skeena-Bulkley Valley. “There is no leadership job available,” he said.
~Written by Chris Armstrong. File photo