Finance Minister Steven Joyce today declined to back embattled MP Todd Barclay, and said Barclay's statements yesterday "didn't match up".
However, Joyce told Mike Hosking on Newstalk ZB he expected Barclay to still be Clutha-Southland MP by the end of today.
Asked if Barclay was a liar, Joyce said, "well, I must say, his two statements yesterday didn't exactly match up, did they? But that's for him to sort out, and it's actually for him to sort out for the party in Clutha-Southland."
Asked if he wanted Barclay to quit, Joyce said "I don't have a view on that".
"My view of it is - and we are very democratic on this basis - the party selects the candidate and then the public vote on the candidate.
"There was a major thrashing out of all these issues in December last year in selection meetings. The party in Clutha-Southland is very large and they kicked it around and they put him back in."
National MPs are being stopped on their way into Parliament and asked if they support Barclay.
Palmerston North-based list MP Jono Naylor said Barclay was "a great guy", when asked if he supported him.
"I haven't talked to Todd in the last couple days, and, look, it is all between Todd and the Prime Minister to sort out. Thank you."
Wellington-based list MP Paul Foster-Bell said Barclay was a "good friend" who "should keep doing the wonderful job he's doing".
Asked if Barclay should resign, Hunua and National MP Andrew Bayly said he didn't know enough about the matter and Barclay would "work his way through it".
"He will be reflecting on his own position."
Bayly believed Barclay had the support of the wider caucus.
Appearing on Breakfast, National list MP Chris Bishop said he didn't accept Barclay had lied.
"No, I don't think Todd Barclay has lied. I think Todd Barclay made a statement at 5.50pm last night, as you say. And he now accepts the Prime Minister's version of events.
"At the heart of this is an employment dispute...and basically political shenanigans by people who are trying to damage Todd, basically."
National backbencher Barclay is under building pressure to step down after a bombshell admission by Prime Minister Bill English yesterday showed the MP had misled the public when he denied making secret recordings of former electorate agent Glenys Dickson or telling English of them.
However, English then revealed he told police Barclay had confided he left a dictaphone running in his electorate office, recording his staff.
Claims arise that Barclay had recorded senior electorate agent Glenys Dickson without her knowledge, which he denied. Text messages reveal then deputy prime minister Bill English knew about the allegations and a payment made to Ms Dickson from the leader's budget. Police launched an investigation.
MARCH 2016: English denies speaking to anyone directly involved. Barclay tells reporters he will co-operate fully with the police investigation.
JULY 2016: Police attempt to contact Barclay for a statement. His lawyer advises he will not co-operate with the investigation.
NOVEMBER 2016: Barclay seeks re-nomination as National's candidate for Clutha-Southland in the 2017 election. He tells reporters he has never spoken to police about the recording claims. The police investigation is dropped because of a lack of evidence.
DECEMBER 2016 Barclay is selected as Clutha-Southland candidate.
MARCH 2017: It's revealed Barclay refused to co-operate with the police investigation.
JUNE 20, 2017 Text messages from English to Clutha-Southland electorate chairman Stuart Davie about the recording and the payout are published by Newsroom. English "can't recall" who told him but later releases his police statement saying it was Barclay. Barclay denied telling Mr English, but later apologised if that was "misleading". Newsroom reveals the National Party is investigating Barclay's re-selection as Clutha-Southland's candidate over claims selection rules were broken.
JUNE 21, 2017 - Newsroom publishes allegations Barclay made up the complaint to Parliamentary Services about Dickson that sparked the bitter employment dispute. Labour leader Andrew Little calls for Barclay's resignation.