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We'll keep the heat on the PM, Little says

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 21/06/2017 Peter Wilson

Todd Barclay's decision to quit parliament is taking the heat out of the secret recordings scandal but Labour is looking for ways to turn up the torch.

National's first-termer gave up on Wednesday, saying he wouldn't stand for re-election in September.

He'd been embroiled in a scandal over allegations he secretly recorded staff member Glenys Dickson's conversations with other people in his Gore electorate office.

It's a criminal offence, and police are re-assessing the investigation they dropped last year.

Mr Barclay had persistently denied doing anything wrong, and also said he hadn't told Prime Minister Bill English he made any recordings during a period when tension in the office was running high.

That was blown apart on Tuesday when Mr English said he had made a statement to police last year in which he confirmed Mr Barclay had told him that he did make the recordings.

Labour leader Andrew Little says it doesn't end there, and he'll continue to question Mr English about what he knew, when he knew it, and why he didn't do anything about it.

"We now have a prime minister who knew everything that was going on and did nothing to stop Todd Barclay misleading people for 18 months," he said.

"This was a cover up by the National Party, they were doing everything they could to conceal it from the public."

Mr English says he didn't ask Mr Barclay to quit, but the MP was clearly under pressure because National holds its annual conference this weekend and it has an election campaign to plan.

It wants the scandal cleared up and out the way - Mr Little has other ideas.

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