Todd Barclay is stepping down after secret recording scandal


Embattled Clutha-Southland MP Todd Barclay has stepped down as a candidate for the 2017 election, and will leave Parliament at the end of this term.

He said in a statement on Tuesday: "I don't want the issues that are important to Clutha-Southland and all of New Zealand to be distracted by an employment dispute.

"This has been a hard decision to make, but it is in the best interests of our Government and the National Party, and I wish the Prime Minister and our team all the best for the General Election."

Mr Barclay's announcement comes after allegations resurfaced he'd secretly recorded a staff member in his office. He denied the allegations for more than a year.

Prime Minister Bill English also became embroiled in the scandal, when it emerged Mr Barclay had told him last year about the recording taking place in the Gore electorate office.

It was revealed Mr English had told police about this in a statement in April 2016.