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Principale » New Zealand leader faces questions over alleged secret tapes

New Zealand leader faces questions over alleged secret tapes

20 Juin 2017

The Clutha-Southland MP has been in the headlines over allegations relating to a staffer in his electorate office.

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.

"It was an employment dispute, the police have had a look at it, he's been re-selected, and I think that's pretty much the end of it".

The Prime Minister's memory was jogged when he checked his police statement.

But after English released his police statement, Barclay said he'd read it and accepted it.

"Like any break-down in a relationship, I accept there was fault on both sides".

He was unable to comment further for "legal reasons" but says the legal dispute has been resolved and is the subject of a confidentiality agreement. "I can't override that", Mr English said.

"I'm sorry if any of the answers I gave this morning were misleading".

Prime Minister Bill English insists he can't recall who told him National MP Todd Barclay secretly recorded a staff member, but says it may have come from Mr Barclay himself.

English on Tuesday released a statement he made a year ago 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.

English on Tuesday, June 20, 2017 released a statement he made a year ago 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.

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"I had a conversation with him (Mr Barclay) regarding Glenys Dickson leaving his office and he said to me that he had recordings of her criticising him", Mr English told police.

When asked if Todd Barclay lied this morning when he refuted claims that he made a secret recording, Mr English said, "You'll have to ask him".

However, an illegal recording by Mr Barclay has not been formally confirmed in a legal sense.

Although, from whom he heard this pay-off had occurred, he said he isn't sure.

English released his police statement after an investigation by the Newsroom website revealed he sent texts that formed part of the police investigation. "The settlement was larger than normal because of the privacy breach".

A settlement was eventually paid to Mrs Dickson from then Prime Minister John Key's leader's fund, which is taxpayer money.

Barclay refused to answer questions, walking away from reporters.

Assistant Commissioner Richard Chambers said there hadn't been enough evidence to obtain search warrants during the investigation which was now closed because there was "insufficient evidence to prosecute".

Allegations by Mrs Dickson against Mr Barclay led to a 10-month police investigation.

A spokesperson for the Prime Minister's office said, given the dispute was an employment matter, it would be inappropriate to discuss the details.

New Zealand leader faces questions over alleged secret tapes