Labour MP Clayton Cosgrove ran a "nasty, naughty" campaign of crank calls to Helen Clark and her husband, says John Tamihere in previously undisclosed comments.

Mr Cosgrove had been the ousted minister's most staunch remaining supporter in the Labour caucus, but last night he was upset and said he would "restrain myself". Later he phoned back with a statement: "That did not happen. It is not true."

Before entering Parliament, Mr Cosgrove was a supporter of Mike Moore, deposed by Helen Clark in a dirty leadership battle. But last night the Prime Minister said she received no crank calls from Mr Cosgrove.

In unpublished comments from a transcript of Investigate magazine's controversial interview, Mr Tamihere gives his view on why Mr Cosgrove is "getting nowhere" in the Clark administration. "What he used to do is get Clark's home number, and Peter Davis' work number and home number and he was in Mike's support team, and he used to drive them nuts, he'd ring incessantly at all hours saying 'leave Mike alone!', and they knew it was him," Mr Tamihere says. "He ran that campaign, and it used to be nasty, naughty."

Sources said Labour's gay and lesbian Rainbow Sector had been in talks about laying a complaint against Mr Tamihere after he called Labour's gay MPs "queers" and "tossers".

- Herald on Sunday