4 Dec 2018

Maggie Barry asks for investigation into staff recordings

3:57 pm on 4 December 2018

Embattled National Party MP Maggie Barry says she has never been a bully and has hit back at all allegations against her.

She has also asked the Parliamentary Service to investigate whether she has ever been recorded by staff in their employ, and expects them to take appropriate action if that turns out to be the case.

Ms Barry arrived at Parliament today for the first time since news broke over the weekend that there had been formal complaints of bullying made against her by former staff.

One of the staff members also recorded conversations between themselves and Ms Barry.

Ms Barry said both complaints were investigated by the Parliamentary Service, and neither were upheld.

She denied any allegation of bullying or harrassment and invited those anonymously contacting the media to file formal complaints.

"I do not accept that there has been bullying and harrassment in my workplace, I would not approve of that at all and I am not that kind of employer.

"I have high expectations of myself and of my staff but I believe that you always treat people with respect, and that is what I have always endeavoured to do over a long period of time."

Ms Barry said she was not toxic and if someone wanted to come forward and make that allegation, then they should do so through the right channels.

"It is a little odd and unfair having to answer allegations anonymously and also to be taped without my knowledge, I am surprised that this sort of thing is happening, but I think if people feel strongly about it, they should take it through the proper channels, and that is through [the Parliamentary Service]."

Ms Barry said she never asked parliamentary staff to do National Party work, saying she was very clear about what the rules were.

She said some people choose to do party work in their breaks, in their own time, but she never asked them to do so.