Prime Minister Bill English sent 'hundreds of texts' to Glenys Dickson - Winston Peters

It's been revealed Bill English sent hundreds of text messages to his former electorate staffer Glenys Dickson in the months leading up to her resignation.

The Prime Minister has previously insisted he had limited knowledge of the dispute brewing between Clutha Southland MP Todd Barclay and Ms Dickson over alleged secret recordings, which resulted in her being paid out.

Not one to be upstaged by Labour's leadership bomb, Winston Peters lobbed his own political hand grenade at the Prime Minister, outing Bill English's text-fest with the former electorate staffer, right up until the day before she walked out.

"Why did he send over 450 texts to Glenys Dickson early in the morning and late in the night, 12 months before she resigned on February 7, 2016?"

English's response was on high rotate: "No matter of ministerial responsibility so can't comment on it any further."

"Just the same answer.

"I don't have any ministerial responsibility for that."

Mr Peters was quick to respond: "What phone were you using if it's of no matter to the taxpayer?"

It's unclear what Bill English knew, and when, about the secret recordings, payout and resignation.

But according to Mr Peters the man who says he knew close to zero had been text-bombing Dickson - sending her 22 messages the day before she bailed out and more than 25 more the week after.

The Prime Minister has declined to comment.