March 22, 2018

New Zealand leader faces questions over alleged secret tapes

20 June 2017, 04:27 | Austin Hogan

Prime Minister Bill English fell back on the dodgy memory card instead telling reporters he"could not recall who told him what

Prime Minister Bill English fell back on the dodgy memory card instead telling reporters he

Mr Barclay called a press conference tonight - giving media 10 minutes' notice - and read from a statement before disappearing before reporters could ask any questions.

Now Mr Barclay has directly contradicted a statement the Prime Minister made in a police interview a year ago about a conversation they had about a dictaphone recording of electorate staff member Glenys Dickson.

The media coverage about bust-ups with long serving staff and persistent talk of secret recordings after taking over Prime Minister Bill English's electorate was bad enough.

English on Tuesday, June 20, 2017 released a statement he made past year to police, saying that lawmaker Todd Barclay told him that Barclay left a recording device running in his electorate office and captured criticism from a staffer.

The statements in question were him saying, "No", he did not tell Mr English about secret recordings and, "No", he had not made any secret recordings.

And Mr Barclay has changed his tune too.

Under New Zealand law, it is illegal to secretly record other people's conversations.

"I've seen the allegations and I totally refute them", he said.

In BUSINESS PULSE poll, which has been open since midday, 82% of readers say Mr Barclay should go.

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"I'm sorry if any of the answers I gave this morning were misleading", Barclay said, before walking away before answering any questions, including why he lied.

So far, Barclay hasn't faced any political sanctions.

"Given Mr English was my predecessor as the MP for Clutha-Southland, I no doubt spoke to him as the dispute escalated". He would not confirm what he told police.

"All I know is the police investigation has come to an end, they have released some information about it, the matter is closed". "Now it's a matter for Todd around the statements he might have made".

Mr English is under pressure after it emerged he had sent text messages to former Clutha-Southland electorate chairman Stuart Davie stating Mr Barclay had recorded his former electorate agent Glenys Dickson, who had previously worked for English for 17 years.

In another text, he then said a confidentiality settlement was struck between Mr Barclay and Ms Dickson to "avoid legal action", that it was larger than normal because of the privacy breach and was partly funded by the Prime Minister's leader's budget. Had to be part paid by prime ministers budget.

Mr Barclay also denied telling Mr English he had recorded Ms Dickson.

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Opposition leader Andrew Little said that English's previous comments about the case were dismissive, and that he seemed to be covering things up to protect Barclay. If you would like to discuss another topic, look for a relevant article.

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