PM leader’s fund paid Barclay legal bill

As well as being used to top up the employment dispute settlement between Parliamentary Services and Clutha-Southland Gore office employee Glenys Dickson, it was also used to pay for legal advice for Todd Barclay.

1 News:  Todd Barclay case lawyers paid taxpayer cash

Taxpayer money from the former prime minister’s leader’s fund was used to pay for legal advice as well as top up the settlement in the Todd Barclay case, it’s been revealed.

The settlement was paid to former electorate office staffer Glenys Dickson to settle an employment dispute with Clutha-Southland MP Todd Barclay.

Most of it was paid by her employer, the Parliamentary Service, but had to be topped up from former prime minister John Key’s leader’s fund.

The amount isn’t known but New Zealand First managed to find out, through the Official Information Act, that $2609 was used to pay lawyers.

The taxpayers (us) have not forked out anything extra. The Prime Minister is given a certain amount for the fund and use it as allowed and decided, so if the money wasn’t used for Barclay’s legal bill it would have been used for something else by the PM’s office.

I presume this use of the fund was allowed by the rules, otherwise I’d expect that NZ First would be making a lot more noise about it.

Regardless, for the few that are likely to hear about this it doesn’t look that flash for National.

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5 Comments

  1. Ray

     /  July 5, 2017

    Any time a visit to a lawyer only costs $2609 is an extremely cheap day.

    Reply
  2. duperez

     /  July 5, 2017

    The cost to us goes on.

    Today:
    CHRIS HIPKINS (Labour—Rimutaka) to the Prime Minister: Why did he tell the House on 21 June with regard to the Todd Barclay matter, “I do not know what the dispute was or how it was settled”?

    Rt Hon BILL ENGLISH (Prime Minister): Because I was not a party to the employment dispute or the settlement. The extent of my involvement was as the former MP for Clutha-Southland. I did not then, or now, have any ministerial responsibility for this matter.

    Chris Hipkins: Why did he tell the House that he did not know the dispute had been settled, when his own text messages reveal that he knew Glenys Dickson had received a settlement payment “larger than normal, because of the privacy breach.”?

    Rt Hon BILL ENGLISH: I just repeat my answer to the previous question. I was not a party to the employment dispute. I was the former MP for Clutha-Southland, but I had no ministerial responsibility for the matter.

    Chris Hipkins: Is the Prime Minister seriously arguing that if he is not a party to a dispute, he does not have an obligation to tell the truth about what he knows about it?

    Mr SPEAKER: Order! That question is bordering on going to create disorder. I will listen again because I want to give the member a fair go, but if he is in any way accusing any other member of—well, I will listen very carefully to the question.

    Chris Hipkins: Is the Prime Minister seriously indicating that if he is not directly a party to a dispute, he does not have an obligation to tell the truth about what he knows about it?

    Rt Hon BILL ENGLISH: In respect of that matter, I met all my obligations to give relevant information to the people who needed to know it, including the New Zealand Police as part of its 10-month investigation.

    Chris Hipkins: Why did he tell the House that he did not know what the dispute was about, when, over a year earlier, he had been interviewed by the Police about the matter and told them that the allegations Todd Barclay had recorded Glenys Dickson’s conversations were a reason for her leaving the position?

    Rt Hon BILL ENGLISH: As I have said, I have no ministerial responsibility for the matter, then or now. The statements I made to the Police have all been released, and the member is as familiar with them as anyone else is.

    Chris Hipkins: Does the Prime Minister not understand that the only interpretation that can be placed on his refusal to get to the truth of the Barclay conduct is that he is participating in a cover-up of Mr Barclay’s improper, and possibly unlawful, activities; if so, what does that say about the credibility of his Government?

    Mr SPEAKER: There are two supplementary—

    Hon Simon Bridges: I raise a point of order, Mr Speaker. The member has alleged that the Prime Minister has participated in a cover-up. In my submission, he simply cannot make that allegation in relation to another member. He said that that is the only interpretation.

    Mr SPEAKER: Order! I listened very carefully, and that was not the question. Those words were certainly used, but it was not a representation of that at all. The Prime Minister can answer the question.

    Rt Hon BILL ENGLISH: As I said to the member, I have no ministerial responsibility. It is hardly a cover-up when statements are made to the Police in relation to the matters the member is raising.
    ————
    I think Mr Speaker was right determining that an allegation wasn’t made. Hipkins talked about interpretation of actions and that reflecting on the credibility of the Government.

    Bill English mustered the only defence he could muster in a situation where there is no defence. What has been shown reflects primarily on his credibility more than the Government’s.

    Simon Bridges pathetically getting up a couple of times today concerned about members being impugned shows the degree of farce things have become. No-one might care anymore but English’s repeating a thousand times that he talked to the Police and had no Ministerial responsibility but he can’t cover the fact that he lied.

    Bridges doesn’t like imputations or allegations about his leader, the Speaker doesn’t like the House being brought into disrepute and English doesn’t want to tell the truth. And I don’t want my taxes being used as they have been in the case.

    What I do want are explanations. The country goes crazy when sports stars do something dumb and “role models for the young” becomes the catch-cry. Why should expect moral and ethical behaviour of anyone when the leaders of the country act as they have in the Barclay case?

    Reply
    • patupaiarehe

       /  July 5, 2017

      Mr Bridges should stick to being a ‘smiling pup’. His attempts at being an ‘attack dog’, are unconvincing, to put it politely…

      Reply
  3. Patzcuaro

     /  July 5, 2017

    The Honourable Simon Bridges is insistent that as like information as possible is released into the public domain that might reflect negatively on the government.

    Reply

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