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Lockwood Says He Did Nothing Wrong

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

National MP Lockwood Smith says his comments about the party having to swallow dead fish to make the public happy do not mean it has any secret agenda.

Last night TV3 broadcast secretly recorded remarks Dr Smith made on Friday at the party's conference.

"Once we've gained the confidence of the people, we've got more chance of doing more things," he said on Friday.

"There's some bloody dead fish you have to swallow ... to get into government to do the kinds of things you want to do," he said.

"We may be able to do some things we believe we need to do, perhaps go through a discussion document wouldn't be able to do them straight off."

Today Dr Smith left a select committee meeting -- flanked by National MPs including deputy leader Bill English who was also secretly recorded at the conference -- to walk into a group of gathered journalists.

"I've said nothing that I am concerned about. All I said was you should build public confidence in what you are doing and you should consult people, make things transparent," he said.

Repeatedly asked what were the policies for which he wanted discussion papers prepared, Dr Smith said he supported National policies.

He followed the line Mr Key was running this morning that Labour was behind the recordings.

"This is probably some of the most dirty tricks that I've seen in 24 years in this parliament. I've never seen anything like it before," he said.

"Helen Clark's got to either disown this new low in politics or she's got to wear it."

He could not recall when the recording was made but said if it was at the Friday night cocktail function he talked to many different people.

"Goodness knows who was in there pretending to be a delegate... It certainly wasn't a National person."

Dr Smith thought it illegal to record and broadcast private conversations, but he had no plans to attempt court action.

Dr Smith said Mr Key had not had a problem with his comments.

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