Select Committee on Standards and Privileges Minutes of Evidence

Examination of Witness (Questions 20 - 39)



  20. This was at the later stages of the campaign?
  (Mr Rafferty) Yes.

  21. When you say "later stages", how many weeks before the election are you talking about?
  (Mr Rafferty) Certainly four weeks before the election.

  22. Before that, could you give us the pattern of a day before the four-week period?
  (Mr Rafferty) Yes. Before the last stage of the campaign the day certainly began later, and did not have, I suppose, the urgency of the later part of the campaign. So the day began between 8 and 9 o'clock with, always, a campaign group meeting; various policies to be established, researched and carried out, and so forth. It usually ended around 6 or 7 in the evening.

  23. So that was a period of how long? For how long were those hours worked?
  (Mr Rafferty) I started that consultancy on 12 January. So I would imagine January, February and March.

  24. For several months?
  (Mr Rafferty) Yes. For approximately three months.

  25. The ordinary pattern would be starting when and finishing when?
  (Mr Rafferty) The ordinary pattern would be starting between 8 and 9 o'clock in the morning and finishing around 6 in the evening.

Mr Bottomley

  26. Taking you to the transcript of your discussion with the Commissioner and turning to the Suzanne Hilliard issue, there are the words that until you read the Observer article "I did not know that Suzanne Hilliard had worked for any Member of Parliament." Suzanne Hilliard was one of, roughly, how many who were working closely with you?
  (Mr Rafferty) I suppose there were, at times, 20 or 30 people working in the campaign.

  27. She and you were working as reasonably close colleagues for, roughly, what period?
  (Mr Rafferty) She was not there all the time. Certainly in the last month, because Kevin Reid had given up being in charge of media monitoring, I worked more closely with her.

  28. If someone were to have asked directly, would you have expected to know if someone doing her sort of work was working for a Member of Parliament as well? Would you have expected to know that?
  (Mr Rafferty) No. I genuinely thought she was a volunteer.


  29. Genuinely thought it was?
  (Mr Rafferty) I thought she was a volunteer.

Mr Bottomley

  30. Basically, however, you did not know she was working for a Member of Parliament. Might you have expected to know what she was doing outside?
  (Mr Rafferty) No.

  31. You would not know what she was doing outside?
  (Mr Rafferty) No.

  32. And you would not have known that she was being paid either by the Party or by somebody outside?
  (Mr Rafferty) No.

  33. So she could have been spending ten hours a week doing some regular job for somebody else?
  (Mr Rafferty) I would have no knowledge of that.

  34. In terms of being able to do that—and, certainly, to take the last month or four weeks of the campaign—would you have thought it was reasonably possible for her to have worked for somebody else for more than 10 or 15 hours a week?
  (Mr Rafferty) I honestly cannot say what is possible and what is not possible. In the last month of the campaign we were there all the time. It was extremely hard work. But I had no knowledge of what people did outside.

  35. That is my second question. My first question was: taking the words "I did not know she had worked for a Member of Parliament", from your memory there was the time available for her to have done work for somebody outside?
  (Mr Rafferty) I suppose that is possible.

  36. Were you surprised when you heard she had been working for a Member of Parliament during this time?
  (Mr Rafferty) I had no knowledge of it whatsoever. I was surprised.

  37. You were surprised.
  (Mr Rafferty) Yes.

Mr Campbell-Savours

  38. Do you remember the first conversation you had with Mr Nelson about this?
  (Mr Rafferty) I cannot remember when the story was printed. It was the day before the story was printed.

  39. Were you the origins of the story?
  (Mr Rafferty) No.

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