New Zealand First leader Winston Peters has accused the Prime Minister of sending hundreds of text messages to the woman who complained to police about National MP Todd Barclay.
Mr Peters used question time to target Bill English over his involvement in the Barclay controversy, holding up a document he said detailed the date and time of text messages Mr English sent to Mr Barclay’s former electorate office staff member Glenys Dickson.
“Why did he send over 450 text messages to Glenys Dickson, many early in the morning and late at night, in the 12 months before she resigned on February 7, 2016?” Mr Peters asked.
Mr English declined to comment, saying the matter was one for which he had no ministerial responsibility.
“If he had no responsibility as he says, why did he send Glenys Dickson 31 text messages in the days immediately before her resignation?” Mr Peters asked.
“Why does he say he has nothing further to add, because Glenys Dickson received 22 text messages on February 6, the day before she resigned. And a further 26 text messages in the six days after she resigned. Why didn’t he add that when the media asked him what he knew about it?”
Again, the Prime Minister declined to comment on the matter, saying there had been a full police investigation.
Mrs Dickson worked in Mr Barclay’s electorate office and went to police with a complaint Mr Barclay had secretly recorded her in the midst of an employment dispute. She previously worked for Mr English for years during his time as the local MP. After Mr English opted to become a list MP Barclay became Clutha-Southland MP.
Mr Barclay returned to Parliament yesterday for the first time since he announced on June 21 he would not seek re-election as Clutha-Southland MP in September’s election.
That decision came after a bombshell admission from Mr English that Mr Barclay had told him he had recordings of his former electorate office staff member Glenys Dickson, which were made when a dictaphone was left running in the office.
Mr Peters said he would not reveal how he knew about the alleged text messages, or his sources for the information.
“I’m not being secretive, but would you disclose how you got information? No. And nor will I. If someone is a source of mine I’m not going to go and blow their cover.”
He was confident the information was accurate.
“Why don’t you ask the Prime Minister whether or not he thinks my information is accurate or not? I’m giving you dates and time of day.”
Asked if he knew the contents of the text messages, Peters said, “You will have to wait, won’t you?”