Discredited local Member of Parliament Todd Barclay is jumping the country before the election.
In June, the one-term National MP announced he wouldn’t stand again for Clutha-Southland after a recording scandal involving a staff member – a scandal which dragged in Prime Minister Bill English.
After three months of being virtually invisible, Barclay’s moving to London. He flies out to England this coming Tuesday, seeking work.
That’s despite still officially being on the taxpayer’s purse – with a $160,000-a-year salary, taxpayer-subsidised travel and a taxpayer-subsidised car – until September 23’s election.
It also contradicts comments from English’s office in June.
Back then, a spokesman told the Herald:until the election and will continue to carry out his usual duties and represent his community in that time.”
Asked to comment, local New Zealand First candidate Mark Patterson, of Lawrence, says: “It’s disappointing to see a job not being finished.
“The people of Clutha-Southland gave him what he described at the time as the honour of his life, so the least he could have done was see that through.”
Act Party leader David Seymour quips Barclay “checked out quite a while ago”.
ut he adds: “People will beat up on the guy – he got in over his head, he made some pretty stupid mistakes – and I think now the right thing to do is let him get on with living his life.”
Barclay, now 27, was Parliament’s youngest MP, and the first to be born in the 1990s, when he was elected in 2014.
It’s not known whether he’ll hold on to his Arrowtown townhouse.
After committing to an interview with saying he’s “really not keen on doing anything before the election and would prefer to wait”.
National’s new Clutha-Southland candidate is Hamish Walker.