Tobacco company Philip Morris is moving to distance itself from Clutha-Southland MP Todd Barclay, who once worked for it. Some people believed that Mr Barclay had been a high-ranked executive or spin doctor for the tobacco giant, but a Philip Morris spokesperson was quick to clarify that this was not the case. “He was a very low-ranked employee, just doing things like helping with the photocopying and cleaning unsightly yellow stains off the ceiling, that sort of thing. He wasn’t on track to be one of our glamorous international drug pushers at all”
“The behaviour Mr Barclay has been accused of is not what our people are about – our people are smooth and mild”
“Mr Barclay has made it clear that he does not smoke and he does not encourage smoking. Obviously we don’t smoke either – we’ve known about the dangers of smoking since, well, not as long as the general public have known about it, but at least since 2006 or so. But when Mr Barclay says he doesn’t encourage smoking, he is making it clear that he is not one of us, because obviously we do encourage smoking.”
National Party leader Bill English is said to be very sad to see Mr Barclay leaving, because he had hoped to use him as the fall guy for something else in the future.