I’ve got no regrets: MP

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Clutha-Southland MP Todd Barclay says he has no regrets about his handling of allegations he secretly recorded staff in his electorate office.

He decided not to speak to police about the allegations because his lawyer told him he did not have to, he says.

“If I was obliged to talk to the police, then I would, but it was never an obligation.”

The National MP told the Otago Daily Times yesterday he believed he could not “add value” by making a statement to police and he had no regrets about his handling of the issue.

“It was a pretty nasty employment issue, I took advice from Parliamentary Services from the outset … there was nothing more I could have done.”

The 26-year-old first-term MP continues to be dogged by controversy over his handling of the allegations, which were sparked in February last year by a complaint to police by his electorate agent, Glenys Dickson.

Documents from the 10-month police investigation, which did not result in a charge, reveal Barclay refused to speak to detectives about the allegations.

He had earlier told the ODT: “If they do contact me on any matter, then I will co-operate fully.”

When asked yesterday if his about-face had damaged his reputation and affected his re-election chances, he urged people to read the OIA documents.

He was “absolutely” standing again this year.

Barclay was in Queenstown yesterday with National MP Maurice Williamson visiting businesses.

Otago Daily Times

OPENING SHOT: Only one way for MP to earn our trust

David Williams

OPINION: Living in Australia in 2004, I was struck by the political cunning of then-Prime Minister John Howard, who was calling an election.

“This election, ladies and gentlemen, will be about trust,” he told reporters.

Bugger, I thought – he’s already won. History shows that he did.

If trust is a politician’s stock-in-trade, local MP Todd Barclay is in trouble.

Last week it was revealed he refused to be interviewed by police over allegations he illegally recorded conversations of a staffer, who’s now left.

Barclay’s already under pressure, with Tourism Minister Paula Bennett seemingly against a bed tax which he supports.

The recording allegations are a lingering cloud. As a matter of trust, he needs to shed some light on it.

david@scene.co.nz