Todd Barclay recording scandal: 'Someone is lying'

National MP Todd Barclay's career hangs by a thread this morning after a day of upheaval over a secret recording scandal.

His initial denials that he secretly recorded an electorate staff member during an employment dispute have embarrassed Prime Minister Bill English.

Mr English initially responded to questions saying "I can't recall," but later admitted he'd known about the recordings for over a year and that Mr Barclay had told him.

Otago University law expert Professor Andrew Geddis suspects National will be taking a new look at Mr Barclay's selection to contest the next election.

"The biggest threat to his career is that he is saying things that directly contradict his Prime Minister. And as an MP you do not want to be caught on the wrong side of your Prime Minister's statements," Prof Geddis says.

"Someone is lying - it's either him or Bill English. Bill English does not want to be seen by the New Zealand public as being a liar.

"[Barclay] has of course been selected as the National Party candidate for Clutha Southland. Whether he feels able to continue now that he's in a position where his word appears to directly contradict his Prime Minister's - that'll be a judgement call for him but I also suspect for his party."

Newshub.