Labour parliamentary leader under fire

The position of Mariëtte Hamer, leader of the parliamentary Labour party, is under fire within the party, just six months before crucial local council elections, the Volkskrant says on Thursday.

A growing number of Labour MPs blame her for the party’s poor performance and want to see her replaced by MP Diederik Samsom. She narrowly beat Samson in the competition for the leadership.
Yesterday it emerged Samsom had written to MPs last week about the ‘deplorable state‘ of the PvdA.
The party is suffering seriously in the polls and would see its share of the vote more than halved if there was an election tomorrow. Labour currently has 33 seats in the 150-seat parliament and is the second biggest party in the three-party coalition.
On Wednesday night, prominent party member René Cuperus said on a radio programme that MPs should get rid of Hamer. ‘It would not be at all odd to swap Hamer for Samsom’, he was quoted as saying.
Rotterdam city councillor Ronald Motta, who hopes to lead the PvdA local election campaign in the port city, said the party is being hurt by her poor performance. ‘I trust Samsom. Lots of members are saying the same thing,’ he told the Volkskrant. ‘It is right that we are having this discussion now.’
Speaking in Castricum, Samsom himself stressed his loyalty to Hamer. But on the fringes of the meeting, Hamer was being described by members as the PvdA’s Achilles’ heel, the paper says.

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