A long half day in politics

This morning Todd Barclay responded to questions about the Newsroon allegations:

“I’ve seen the allegations and I totally refute them.

“The police have investigated quite thoroughly, obviously.

“I’ve gone through quite a robust local transparent process too, which was my re-selection, which I won quite convincingly, so my people and supporters down there clearly see it for what it is.”

“She’d been a long-standing staff member and it was quite a quick exit, so there would’ve been a package of some sort.

“Employment disputes happen in all workplaces all the time, and I don’t think there’s anything out of the ordinary about an employment settlement taking place”.

Bill English this morning said he couldn’t remember who told him about the recording.

English early this afternoon:

“I’m telling you what my statement was, and the statement I made was to the police, who then had the opportunity to investigate all aspects of the allegations.”

“I had a conversation with him regarding Glenys Dickson leaving his office and he said to me that he had recordings of her criticising him.

“He said he had just left the dictaphone on.”

Newsroom investigation…

…revealed English had sent text messages to the former chair of the Clutha-Southland electorate, Stuart Davie, saying Barclay did have recordings of Dickson.

Bill English to Stuart Davie: He left a dictaphone running that picked up all conversations in the office Just the office end of phone conversations. The settlement was larger than normal because of the privacy breach.

Last night and again this morning (see video at the top of this story), Todd Barclay categorically denied he had spoken to English about the dictaphone recordings.

Asked whether Barclay’s denial of any recordings meant he was a liar, English said “Well that is a matter for him to account for his statements”.

Barclay late this afternoon:

“It is important that I clarify and correct my comments to the media earlier today.

“I have read and Mr English’s statement to the police and accept it.

“Given Mr English was my predecessor as the MP for Clutha-Southland, I no doubt spoke to him as the dispute escalated.

“Like any break down in a relationship I accept that there was fault on both sides, looking back I could have handled the situation differently and I regret that.”

“For legal reasons I am unable to comment further, the employment dispute has been resolved and is the subject of a confidentiality agreement.

“I’m sorry if any of the answers I gave this morning were misleading in any way.”



  1. So much has happened so quickly today it has been hard keeping up, and sorry, it has been difficult catching up tonight with coherent coverage.

  2. More senior colleagues and people close to him need to talk to him – the solution is obvious…

  3. duperez

     /  June 20, 2017

    Tim Watkin: “The real problem for the government tonight is that his decisions today – and indeed his decisions over the past year – undermine the very values he is about to take to the electorate in 95 days to seek an historic fourth term.”

    It’s a minor problem for the government. Most people won’t know about the details of this situation and don’t care about it – today or in 95 days, values or not.
    And most people don’t really care about honesty and integrity from politicians. That should be a major problem.