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'Sex and drugs' on the Barclay tapes

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 27/06/2017 Karen Sweeney
Todd Barclay. Todd Barclay.

Conversations allegedly intercepted by National MP Todd Barclay reportedly included talk of "sex and drugs" it has been revealed as police announce they're re-investigating the claims.

Further details of the scandal, which forced the early retirement of the first term Clutha-Southland MP last week, were revealed by Newsroom on Tuesday, including a claim parliamentary officials knew of the tapes and their contents early last year.

Mr Barclay is alleged to have secretly recorded his Gore electorate office staffer Glenys Dickson during an employment dispute between the pair.

In a statement to police, obtained by Newsroom, Ms Dickson said her lawyer Kathryn Dalziel had sought from Parliamentary Services a higher severance settlement following the dispute with Mr Barclay because of the recordings.

"Catherine (sic) Dalziel also told me that she had spoken to Parliamentary Services and that they had acknowledged there was recorded conversations involving me which concerned Todd Barclay regarding sex and drug matters," Ms Dickson's statement reportedly says.

"In relation to that conversation the only one I can recall is one that I had with (Mr Barclay's electorate agent) Barbara Swan from Queenstown."

The conversation reportedly took place after Mr Barclay had partied in Queenstown the night before pulling out of an event in Balclutha, producing a doctor's certificate citing exhaustion.

Prime Minister Bill English again had nothing to add on the new allegations on Tuesday afternoon, and refusing to comment on whether he had been contacted by police about their new investigation.

Assistant police commissioner Richard Chambers said on Tuesday officers were speaking to "a number of individuals who may have relevant information".

"Any new evidence which is gathered will be carefully considered to determine what, if any impact it has on the outcome of the original investigation."

The initial investigation was closed after 10 months because of a lack of evidence to prosecute.

Mr English said he would encourage Mr Barclay to co-operate with this new investigation but said it was up to him to decide whether he would remain in parliament during the investigation, as other MPs had in the past.

New Zealand First leader Winston Peters said Mr English is the one who should stand down.

"This man's image has been shot to pieces, not for the first time," he said.

"Everything here tells you he knew everything about what this case was about."

Mr Barclay has not spoken to the media in a week, only releasing a press statement to announce his retirement plans on Wednesday.

His colleague and friend Sarah Dowie said she had been in contact with him to make sure he was OK.

"He was a mate in trouble and so we support each other. He's had to leave parliament now because of all these issues and I wish him well," she said.

It was also reported by Politik on Tuesday that the National Party Board cleared Mr Barclay of charges that he was not suitable to be a National MP as late as last Thursday, a day after he was forced to announce his retirement.

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