Discredited member of Parliament Todd Barclay is leaving New Zealand - before the election.

Three months after announcing his decision not to stand again in the Clutha-Southland electorate, Barclay is moving to London.

He leaves for England on Tuesday, seeking employment opportunities.

He is still officially an MP on a $160,000-a-year salary, with taxpayer-subsidised travel and car, until the September 23 election.

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His move contradicts comments from Prime Minister Bill English's office in June.

Back then, a spokesman said: ''Todd Barclay will remain an MP until the election and will continue to carry out his usual duties and represent his community in that time.''

In June, the one-term National MP announced he would not stand again for Clutha-Southland after secretly recording a staff member.

Barclay declined an interview with Mountain Scene this week, saying he was ''really not keen on doing anything before the election and would prefer to wait''.

Clutha-Southland New Zealand First candidate Mark Patterson, of Lawrence, said it was ''disappointing to see a job not being finished''.

''The people of Clutha-Southland gave him what he described at the time as the honour of his life, so the least he could have done was see that through.''

Act New Zealand leader David Seymour said Mr Barclay ''checked out quite a while ago''.

''People will beat up on the guy. He got in over his head, he made some pretty stupid mistakes and I think now the right thing to do is let him get on with living his life.''

National's Clutha-Southland candidate is Hamish Walker.

- Mountain Scene