Opening Shot: PM’s plain English is begrudging


OPINION: Bill English has finally answered questions we’ve been asking him for months.

In April, I sent a series of questions to the Prime Minister’s office about allegations Clutha-Southland MP Todd Barclay had recorded his electorate staff.

One was: “Did Mr Barclay offer to play an audio recording for Mr English?”

The reply was the sound of a door being firmly shut.

“The matter has been dealt with and we have nothing further to add,” spin doctor Julie Ash said.

After his speech at the National Party’s conference on Sunday, English was asked if Barclay offered to play him the recording.

“Ah, yes he did,” was the answer.

That came just 24 hours after the prime minister repeatedly told Newshub’s Paddy Gower the fact of a recording has “never been established”.

The PM is looking isolated and shifty.

This week, English released a transcript of his police interview – something else we asked him for in April.

Now the police are re-opening their investigation.

What’s that sound? It’s chickens coming home to roost.