Maree Barclay, the mother of National MP Todd Barclay, has spoken out about the "devastating" scandal around her son's political career.

In a day during which he apologised for misleading statements, she said: "Yes, he is an honest boy."

But she said she had no desire to talk about it through the media.

"This has been devastating enough for the family as it is."


She said she knew nothing about new allegations of "delegate stacking" which were focused on claims family and friends inserted themselves into the process of getting her son selected to run for the Clutha-Southland electorate again.

Newsroom has reported local party members believe Barclay's selection - which took place in the aftermath of claims he bugged a staff member - was invalid.

It was claimed that the National Party rules committee was investigating whether family members - including Barclay's mum - had tried to get voting rights to which they weren't entitled.

Maree Barclay would not say whether she had tried to get a delegate's voting rights, saying she knew nothing about it.

Earlier, Todd Barclay said he did tell the Prime Minister Bill English he made secret recordings of a staff member.

Barclay made a short statement to media this evening before walking away without answering questions.

There was speculation he would resign but he gave no indication he would do so.

The Clutha-Southland MP has repeatedly denied making secret recordings of a staff member - but English today revealed he informed police that Barclay had told him he left a dictaphone running in his electorate office and had recordings of his staff.


Reading from a prepared statement, Barclay said it was important he clarify his earlier statements to media.

"I have read Mr English's statement to police and accept it. The period in question was a very stressful one as I was in the midst of a difficult employment dispute.

"Given Mr English was my predecessor as the MP for Clutha-Southland, I no doubt spoke to him as the dispute escalated. Like any breakdown in a relationship I accept there was fault on both sides, looking back I could have handled the situation differently and I regret that."

He said for legal reasons he was unable to comment further.

"I'm sorry if any of the answers I gave this morning were misleading," Barclay said, before walking away before answering any questions, including why he lied.