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Govt needed Barclay to pass bills: Labour

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 28/06/2017

Labour leader Andrew Little is accusing Prime Minister Bill English of covering up the Todd Barclay scandal because the government needed his vote in parliament to pass bills.

Mr Little says that since Mr English first knew of the scandal which has now cost the MP his career, six bills had passed by just one vote and would have failed if the Clutha-Southland MP had not been in the House.

"A further three bills due before the House before the end of this term would be defeated if Todd Barclay resigned immediately," Mr Little said.

With the help of its support parties the government can pass most bills by more than one vote but sometimes - when one of those parties doesn't support a bill - it needs every vote it can get.

The bills that fall into that category, based on previous voting patterns, include changes to child protection laws, a local government amendment bill and employment relations bill.

In parliament on Wednesday, Mr Little asked Mr English directly whether he had covered up the secret recordings scandal to protect the government's voting numbers.

"No. I completely reject the member's assertion," Mr English replied.

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