Former Conservative Party leader Colin Craig says if the confidentiality agreement blanketing his relationship with his former press secretary was lifted people would know "the real story".

Mr Craig said it appeared that Rachel MacGregor had had a "change of heart" and now wanted confidentiality lifted, and that prospect was very appealing to him.

He denied that he had forced his former press secretary into that position after he held an extraordinary press conference yesterday and discussed allegations surrounding the pair, breaking a confidentiality agreement.

"A lot of my private details are already out there," Mr Craig told Radio New Zealand. "As much as we could we did not put out any context around what behaviour may have been inappropriate."


He told Radio New Zealand his lawyer was in talks with Rachel MacGregor's lawyer about lifting the confidentiality agreement, which was currently keeping their relationship details under wraps.

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"I realise that some people have been exposed to allegations that I simply haven't seen and haven't been put to me that's disconcerting for them.

"Everything would be in context and people would know in fact what the real story is [if the agreement was lifted]."

He brushed off questions about the agreement only being lifted because he broke it yesterday during a press conference and said it appeared Ms MacGregor had had a "change of heart".

Mr Craig said both parties could "speak freely" to the press and the Conservative Party if it was lifted.

"Her lawyer had indicated to mine that they did not want to go beyond confidence. It appears there has been a change of heart and is there is from her side that would be very appealing to us."

Mr Craig would not be drawn on whether he had "fallen in love" with Ms MacGregor - but said he would be able to discuss that if the confidentiality agreement was lifted.

He said most of his statements in yesterday's press conference were worded by his lawyers.

"Look, I'm not going to go into the details of the relationship in any way unless confidentiality is lifted," He told RNZ.

"I acknowledge freely there was some inappropriate behaviour and that necessitated me apologising to my wife, who has forgiven me.

"The difficulty here is that because of media speculation we've had to come back and address these issues publicly," he said.

Mr Craig was asked if the complaint from Ms MacGregor was the only one he had ever faced, to which he responded, "absolutely".

Board member John Stringer, who has been the most outspoken critic of Mr Craig, said yesterday's press conference had been a disaster.

"It's not a bit like being half pregnant, isn't it. Colin has breached confidentiality, you can't breach it in part. We are getting into a quagmire here of Bill Cliton-esque semantics," he told RNZ.

"This is becoming a rolling tragedy for the wider Craig family and the Conservative Party. Colin Craig needs to, I think, withdraw and stop making statements."

Mr Stringer is seeking to have Mr Craig's party membership cancelled at a board meeting on Saturday, which would prevent him seeking reelection.

Party chairman Brian Dobbs said that Mr Stringer was not a spokesman for the party, and that Mr Craig had been upfront and honest and deserved a second chance.

Last night Ms MacGregor broke a nine-month silence to reject claims of a sexual relationship with her old boss and says she feels she is being framed "as a mistress".

She said Mr Craig, who founded the Conservatives, had made "clear factual inaccuracies" at yesterday's press conference, and went on to criticise him on Twitter saying she felt she was being framed as a mistress.

"There was never a sexual relationship, nor was there consent for his inappropriate actions."

Ms MacGregor "playing this the right way"

Colin Craig's former press secretary Rachel MacGregor is playing her cards well, an employment law expert told Newstalk ZB this morning.

And he may have opened himself up to further legal action, employment law specialist Shan Wilson told Newstalk ZB host Mike Hosking.

Mrs Wilson said Mr Craig, the former Conservative Party leader, had arguably already broken part of their confidentiality agreement so Miss MacGregor could put concern about her needing Mr Craig's permission to speak to one side.

"But I think she is playing this the right way. I think she's right in the approach that she's taking because of the fact she received monies under the agreement so the positioning that she's done is clever, so she's keeping herself very clean and protected by saying 'you consent to me making these statements'."

Mrs Wilson said Mr Craig had also opened himself up to legal action by Miss MacGregor if she had wanted details of the settlement kept secret.

"Because he can open himself up to new actions around breaching confidentiality so for example in the employment arena if you breach confidentiality you can be liable for penalty payment, you can be liable for the damages that flow from breaching that confidentiality. So it's not about the past events anymore it becomes about the current event of breaching confidentiality," she told Newstalk ZB.

Mr Craig earlier told Hosking that he had warned Miss MacGregor's lawyers that he was going to break the agreement, a move Mrs Wilson found "interesting".

"He said he let them know, he didn't say 'I sought her agreement', 'I obtained her agreement', which is what she's carefully doing back to him and saying 'give me agreement to speak and wave the confidentiality agreement'."

Mr Hosking also clarified why Miss MacGregor took her claim through the Human Rights Commission instead of the Employment Relations Act.

"We've had Colin continually refer to her as a staff member so we've all assumed she was an employee. When he was speaking to you earlier he said the word 'contractor'. So that must be why she took her claim under Human Rights Commission because she wouldn't as a contractor be able to take [her claim] under the Employment Relations Act."

Rankin considers future

Conservative Party member Christine Rankin said there was no future for the party if Colin Craig remained on board.

Ms Rankin said she was considering leaving the party herself.

"I'll be making up my mind about that very shortly," she told RNZ.

"I am very disappointed. I gave my brand to Colin Craig...I feel very let down.

"There are people that would make wonderful leaders of a party like this but this is a particularly difficult thing to take over from. Who wants to follow this?"

Mr Craig was a party leader who had made himself out to be "squeaky clean", she said.

She had lost confidence in Craig "a while ago" and challenged him after hearing about his conduct three weeks ago.

His position in the party would be discussed by the board and "rapid action" needed to be taken, Ms Rankin said.

"Rachel was his employee and...this was not an ordinary even a business situation, it was a particular kind of political party where the roles were very strict and very clear.

"We were doing politics in a different way, but in reality we were not."

Ms Rankin resigned as chief executive of the party after last September's election and said she would "absolutely not" want to take over leadership of the party now.