Bill English's claim today that it has never been established that Todd Barclay's recordings of his staff took place is bizarre and shows a complete lack of honesty and leadership, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson.
"Todd Barclay told Bill English that he had recorded his staff member. There was a massive pay out made to the staff member because of that and Todd Barclay has resigned because of the recordings.
“Now in his desperate attempt to distance himself, Bill English has made the fanciful claim that the recordings many not have happened.
“Bill English is donkey deep in this affair. Despite telling media in March last year that he had not had direct contact with the key players, he had in fact been right in the middle of it, telling both the staff member and local officials that a recording took place.
“He has made the situation so much worse this week by constantly shifting his story. First he claimed he could not recall who had told him about the recordings before changing his tune when he learned his Police statement would become public. Then he claimed he reported the matter to the Police when in fact they requested to speak to him. Then he claimed not to know that a covert recording may be a criminal matter.
“Bill English has shown this week that he cannot be trusted. Rather than step up and take responsibility he has tried every pathetic excuse in the book. This one takes the cake. Denying the recording happened is farcical, dishonest and bizarre." says Grant Robertson.