Former Labour Party MP threatens to resign life membership over 'waka jumper' Willie Jackson

A former senior Labour MP says he will resign as a life member of the party if broadcaster Willie Jackson is handed a high list ranking at this year's election.

Multiple sources have told 1 NEWS the talkback host was tempted with promises of a high-list place. Source: 1 NEWS

Former Alliance MP Willie Jackson is rumoured to be in line for a high spot on Andrew Little's list.

He was expected to run for the Maori Party, but at Waitangi on Sunday it's anticipated he'll announce he is taking up Labour's offer.

That hasn't impressed Dover Samuels.

"I thought the only waka jumper in the parliament was going to be Tau Henare but looks like Willie has superseded that," he said.

While the list won't be released for several months, feathers are already ruffled, as a high list place would mean he leap-frogs existing Labour Party members, and perhaps even current MPs.

"It flies in the face of Labour Party loyalty, quite frankly if it was to happen the president can expect my resignation as a life member," Mr Samuels said. 

While Mr Jackson is keeping mum until the weekend, Mr Little admits he's spoken with him recently.

Rumours are swirling that Jackson, a Maori Party member, could take a high place on the Labour list at this year's election. Source: 1 NEWS

"I think Willie Jackson would have plenty to offer Labour," he said.