Examination of Witness (Questions 60 -
TUESDAY 7 NOVEMBER 2000
60. Has anything that you have learned since
then enabled you to decide whether or not, in your judgment, an
(Mr Rafferty) I was reassured sometime later when
I heard from the General Secretary of the Labour Party in Millbank
that Kevin Reid had been placed on a full-time contract with the
Labour Party some considerable time before the campaign began.
But that is the extent of my knowledge of this.
61. So you have not been able to form a judgmentgoing
back to Mr Winslow's callthat he was reporting an impropriety
or not; simply on a question of concern?
(Mr Rafferty) I was very, very concerned. I was alarmed
that this may be the case. But I have no accesseither it
happened or it did not happen, and I was not in a position to
62. Is that still the case?
(Mr Rafferty) Yes, it is.
63. Can I return to the work pattern that you
describe? Did this close on Saturdays and Sundays? In other words,
was it a seven-day week operation? I am particularly interested
in the 7 o'clock start.
(Mr Rafferty) Yes. In the last month we worked seven
days, and if people needed some time off they took it.
64. But only in the last month?
(Mr Rafferty) Yes.
65. Prior to that, weekends were not so much
sacrosanct but not as busy?
(Mr Rafferty) Usually a Saturday morning and some
time on a Sunday, but not working the same amount of time.
66. This conference call where you were alerted
to The Observer article. Who else was on that conference
(Mr Rafferty) All of the special advisers, I think,
without exception, certainly.
67. Going back to the three people concerned,
looking at various events here, there is a file (annex 1.5.4you
have been sent the papers, have you not), you stated in the telephone
conversation to the Commissioner that as far as you were concerned
Chris Winslow and Kevin Reid worked full-time for the Labour Party.
(Mr Rafferty) Yes.
68. Yet, when I was going through the transcripts
of your conversations with the Commissioner, you stated you did
know that Chris Winslow did work
(Mr Rafferty) Several times during the campaign if
I asked him to do something he said "Can I do that later
or do it tomorrow because I have work to do for John Maxton?"
69. How do you equate that? You felt they were
working full-time for the Party, yet you have got Chris Winslow
saying (I am looking at one of the pages of this transcript) "Well,
I can't do that today, I need to do that by Friday because I have
got questions to do for John Maxton." How do you equate those
twobelieving he was working full-time and yet often saying
(Mr Rafferty) I did not know the basis at all of any
work that he was doing for John Maxton. All I know is that that
was the case; that he said to me "I can't do that today"
(this happened on several occasions) "I have got to do work
for John Maxton."
70. Did he say things like that to you in those
last few frantic weeks, for example?
(Mr Rafferty) I have no recollection of that happening
in the last few frantic weeks.
71. Also, you told the Commissioner that certainly
Suzanne Hilliard was ill for some of the time. How does that fit
in time-wise? Was that during the campaign, or was that prior
to it? Was that during the last few weeks?
(Mr Rafferty) No, no, it was earlier.
72. Similarly, was it Chris Winslow or Kevin
Reid who broke his arm?
(Mr Rafferty) Kevin Reid broke his handa bone
in his hand.
73. Again, when did that occur?
(Mr Rafferty) That occurred just before the last four
weeks when the heat of the campaign began, because he was then
unavailable. I am sure that was the time-scale, because he was
then unavailable to work from 7 o'clock in the morning.
74. Mr Rafferty, you were clearly in the thick
of things; you knew what people were doing and you knew how tired
they were. In those four weeks, was there any possibility that
any of the people named would have been able to put in, shall
we say, an extra 20 hours' work for a Member of Parliament?
(Mr Rafferty) That is very, very difficult for me
75. Before that time, in the months before when
you were working between 8 and 9 in the morning through to 6 in
the evening, then maybe they could have worked weekends and fulfilled
(Mr Rafferty) Yes.
76. So the critical time is those four weeks,
and you cannot help us on that.
(Mr Rafferty) I cannot say what people did outsidewe
worked extremely hard.
77. They were really tired at the end of the
(Mr Rafferty) We were all exhausted.
78. You say you cannot answer that question,
so you cannot answer that question. Are you prepared to say, or
accept, that they may have worked 20 hours per week during the
period we are talking about?
(Mr Rafferty) Of course it is possible. I cannot take
a judgment on that.
79. Can I ask you about the circumstances in
which you departed from the Labour Party's employment? I wonder
if you could tell us that, because, as you know, there have been
suggestions that you were, perhaps, a little uneasy on these matters.
Is it correct to say you were dismissed by the Chief of Staff,
by the former First Minister?
(Mr Rafferty) I was not engaged by the Labour Party,
and I was not dismissed by the First Minister.