'I couldn't stand him' - MacGregor on Craig

Colin Craig (File)
Colin Craig (File)

Colin Craig's former press secretary Rachel MacGregor has spoken of how her opinion of the ex-Conservative Party leader "changed drastically" in the lead-up to her resignation in September 2014.

Ms MacGregor was giving evidence on Wednesday in the defamation case Taxpayers' Union executive director Jordan Williams is taking against Mr Craig.

She was pressed on why she brought up her pay on the morning she resigned when Mr Craig was going with her to a radio interview two days before the 2014 election.

Mr Craig's lawyer, Stephen Mills, suggested it was unfair when his sole focus would have been on the interview and getting over the 5 percent cusp to get into Parliament.

But Ms MacGregor told the court that Mr Craig had just made a horrendous remark about dreaming he was lying on her legs.

"He was just digging at me and it was the last straw. You have pushed me for so long. I have been vulnerable and trapped for so long. You're not going to get away with this," she said.

"To get over 5 percent you need to look after your staff - not harassing them, putting them in a difficult position.

"If he really wants to get over 5 percent he needed to stop pushing me with sexual harassment. I agree it was not ideal but if he had agreed perhaps he wouldn't have found himself in that position."

Ms MacGregor was asked about a letter which described her change of employment status, but she said that although the document said she was copied in, she said that Craig had made up documents before and if she'd seen it she would have brought this up with him.

Ms MacGregor also complained that Mr Craig was treating her working with him like a domestic relationship.

"He would stay with friends. I would stay on couch squabs which were not long enough for me and I ended up covered with a jacket," she said.

Mr Mills responded by raising the fact she wrote to praise of his gentleness and kindness in 2012.

But Ms MacGregor said her "opinion changed drastically over time to the point where I couldn't stand him in 2014".

"He had a great way with words, he was intelligent in a way, he had been thoughtful. But it seemed I had only got to know one side of him."

Mr Mills also brought up a note from Mr Craig which said he had fallen asleep on Ms MacGregor's lap while she sang him a Christian lullaby during the 2011 campaign at her flat - back when the pair got on.

Ms MacGregor said there were five girls at the flat, and it would have been odd to have a politician there.

"There may have been some worship," she said, but admitted "he did fall asleep on my lap - I felt very uncomfortable about it." When asked whether she was singing at the time, she said no.

Mr Mills brought up a text which Ms MacGregor wrote, which read: "You make my heart melt. Love you nigh nigh". He asked if that was not romantic.

"Love ya," she corrected.

"Not romantic - I don't see that as romantic. We were close friends [and] this was when we were at our very closest.

"I'm not seeing these as romantic messages. If you want to see romantic messages then look at the ones I have with my boyfriend," she said.

Later, Ms MacGregor accused Mr Mills of "carefully only telling half the story".

He then suggested that there was no evidence suggesting she was complaining of sexual harassment. She responded by saying that was because it was her boss, and putting him on notice for harassment would be "stupid".

The court has only been able to recover the texts Ms MacGregor sent and not the ones Mr Craig sent.