23 Jun 2015

Craig wants confidentiality deal lifted

8:17 am on 23 June 2015

Lawyers are discussing lifting a confidentiality agreement between Colin Craig and his former press secretary, the former Conservative Party leader says.

Colin Craig during the press conference announcing his resignation as leader of the Conservative Party (19 June).

Colin Craig during the press conference announcing his resignation as leader of the Conservative Party. Photo: RNZ / Kim Baker Wilson

Mr Craig yesterday held a media conference where he admitted there had been some inappropriate conduct between himself and Rachel MacGregor, but rejected any suggestion of sexual harassment.

The former Conservative Party leader conceded today he did in part break confidentiality agreement between himself and Ms MacGregor.

Mr Craig told Morning Report he would like the agreement lifted entirely.

"We are just getting confirmation this morning that in fact her offer is genuine - it's very appealing to us to be able to lift confidentiality," he said.

"My preference if we're going to lift confidentiality is that confidentiality is lifted entirely, and that both parties are free to speak and all the information is out in the public domain."

Mr Craig resigned as party leader on Friday so the party could consider the leadership position.

In his statement yesterday he told media there had been a great deal of wild and inaccurate speculation about sexual harassment.

"In hindsight, on some occasions, our conduct was inappropriate," he said.

"Let me make it very clear - I have never sexually harassed anyone and any allegations to the contrary are wrong."

Mr Craig refused to go into any detail about what the inappropriate conduct was.

He said he received an invoice from Ms MacGregor last year for $50,000, which there was some disagreement over. He said in the end $36,000 was paid.

After the press conference, Ms MacGregor released a statement.

In it she said Mr Craig's statements to media breached a confidentially agreement they had reached during a Human Rights Commission mediation.

"Despite Mr Craig's public comments I have been advised by my lawyers that I am still bound by the confidentiality agreement," the statement said.

"I am therefore unable to correct the clear factual inaccuracies contained in the statement Mr Craig made today without jeopardising my legal position.

"I am willing to correct those inaccuracies if Mr Craig confirms that he will not take legal action under the confidentiality agreement when I do so."

Ms MacGregor said she did not want to comment further - but then last night tweeted that Colin Craig was trying to frame her as a "mistress".

She tweeted that there was never a sexual relationship, nor was there consent for his inappropriate actions.

Mr Craig said he held the press conference yesterday to publicly set the record straight.

"I have previously met with Ms MacGregor and we have resolved outstanding matters. However a lack of detail to media has resulted in some people filling in the gaps very creatively."

Mr Craig said he was reluctantly forced to respond to allegations made about him.

"There's been a great deal of wild and inaccurate speculation about sexual harassment - a claim that may have been made against me.

"The widespread circulation of inaccurate information on this topic is completely inconsistent with the basis in which I sought to resolve my differences with Ms MacGregor."

Chief Executive of the Conservative Party Christine Rankin said she had invested a lot in the Party and she was very disappointed in Mr Craig. The party could survive with a new leader, she said.

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