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Todd Barclay: the MP and the allegations

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 20/06/2017 Karen Sweeney

National Party MP Todd Barclay has come under fire over allegations he secretly recorded a staff member who was paid off to avoid legal action, that he lied about an employment complaint and that rules were broken to secure his selection as a candidate in the 2017 general election.

WHO IS TODD BARCLAY:

* National Party Clutha-Southland electorate MP

* Elected in 2014 aged 24, now 27

* Born in Gore, raised in Dipton

* Studied Bachelor of Commerce at Victoria University, Wellington

* Interned for then finance minister Bill English after cold-calling him

* Worked for cabinet ministers Gerry Brownlee and Hekia Parata

* Later worked in public relations for SweeneyVesty and corporate affairs for tobacco company Philip Morris before being elected as Mr English's electorate successor

* Current deputy chairman of the Education and Science and Primary Production select committes. Previous deputy chairman of Law and Order committee.

WHAT ARE THE ALLEGATIONS:

FEBRUARY 2016 - Claims arise that Mr Barclay had recorded senior electorate agent Glenys Dickson without her knowledge, which he denied. Text messages reveal then deputy prime minister Bill English knew about the allegations and a payment made to Ms Dickson from the leader's budget. Police launched an investigation.

MARCH 2016 - Mr English denies speaking to anyone directly involved. Mr Barclay tells reporters he will co-operate fully with the police investigation.

JULY 2016 - Police attempt to contact Mr Barclay for a statement. His lawyer advises he will not co-operate with the investigation.

NOVEMBER 2016 - Mr Barclay seeks re-nomination as National's candidate for Clutha-Southland in the 2017 election. He tells reporters he has never spoken to police about the recording claims. The police investigation is dropped because of a lack of evidence.

DECEMBER 2017 - Mr Barclay is selected as Clutha-Southland candidate.

MARCH 2017 - It's revealed Mr Barclay refused to co-operate with the police investigation.

JUNE 20, 2017 - Text messages from Mr English to Mr Davie about the recording and the payout are published by Newsroom. Mr English "can't recall" who told him but later releases his police statement saying it was Mr Barclay. Mr Barclay denied telling Mr English, but later apologised if that was "misleading". Newsroom reveals the National Party is investigating Mr Barclay's re-selection as Clutha-Southland's candidate over claims selection rules were broken.

JUNE 21, 2017 - Newsroom publishes allegations Mr Barclay made up the complaint to Parliamentary Services about Ms Dickson that sparked the bitter employment dispute. Labour leader Andrew Little calls for Mr Barclay's resignation.

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