COMMENT

There's been a lot of talk over the past 48 hours how well young National MPs are mentored by the old hands in the party; certainly that's the view of Bill English's 2IC Paula Bennett.

If that's really the case one of two things has happened with the now soon-to-be former MP, 27-year-old Todd Barclay - either he wasn't prepared to listen and take advice, or the advice he got was poor.

His late-in-the-day, hastily called "news conference" on Tuesday night was his final nail in the coffin, and wielding the hammer was his long-term predecessor in the Clutha-Southland electorate Bill English.

The moment he opened his mouth, saying he'd read English's statement to the police, released earlier in the day, and accepted it, was the moment he sealed his fate.

Finally, after more than a year, it was tantamount to an admission that he had been secretly recording his electorate staff bagging him.

The police had no choice but to reopen their inquiry and he had no choice but to offer his resignation.

Barclay has gone to ground, was given the day off, obviously to be kept out of the public gaze, or more correctly the blinding glare that this sorry affair has become.

His executioner English stretched our imagination to breaking point when he, as the only anointed spokesman on the saga, made an appearance.

English is known as a straight shooter around Parliament, he's not given to flights of fancy, he tells it like it is without the frills and if you've been on the receiving end of his tongue, you'll know what it's like to be lashed.

He told us he hadn't spoken to Barclay since the saga exploded.

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You could ask, if not why not?

But the real stretch came when it came to him talking about the confidential settlement made to his former long-standing electorate secretary who had the falling out with Barclay.

He said he wasn't a party to the settlement at all, he had no role in the employment dispute, he didn't know what or how it was settled and in fact didn't even know what the dispute was actually about.

As they'd say down south, fair suck of the sav Trev.

Part of the settlement came from John Key's leader's fund, and to think the former PM wouldn't have talked to his deputy about a dispute in his former electorate before forking out taxpayer dosh, is simply beyond comprehension.