Memorandum submitted by the Parliamentary
Commissioner for Standards
Complaint against Dr John Reid and Mr John Maxton
18. The undisputed facts concerning Mr Kevin
Reid, Ms Suzanne Hilliard and Mr Chris Winslow are set out in
the following paragraphs.
(i) Mr Kevin Reid
19. Between September 1997 and October 1998 Mr
Kevin Reid worked part-time as a Parliamentary researcher for
his father whilst completing an LL.B course at Strathclyde University.
For the period covered by the complaint (beginning with April
1998) up to October 1998, Mr Reid was contracted to work 20 hours
per week for his father on a fixed salary of £10,200 per
annum, with no provision for overtime or bonuses. The job consisted
of reading the Scottish press and following the broadcast media
in order to be able to provide Dr Reid with briefings on political
developments in Scotland. Mr Reid also provided his father with
assistance in drafting press releases and speeches. This work
was carried out either from home or in the Strathclyde University
20. Following the completion of his degree course
in May 1998, Mr Reid also started working for the Labour Party
at its Scottish headquarters in Glasgow. His contract with the
Party was for 15 hours per week, for which the salary was £4,000
per annum. The duties consisted of assisting the media monitoring
unit in producing a digest of the morning press and other media
output, which, according to Mr Reid`s statement ( Annex 85), involved
attendance in the Party offices from early to about mid-morning.
Mr Reid`s work for his father (which he continued to do after
becoming employed by the Party) then had to be accommodated in
what remained of the day.
21. On 12 October 1998, Mr Reid switched to working
full-time for the Party at a new annual salary of £18,132
and at that point he ceased to be employed by his father. His
place as Dr Reid`s Parliamentary researcher was taken by Ms Hilliard.
Dr Reid agreed to waive the usual notice period and continued
to pay his son, in lieu of leave entitlement, from 12 October
until the end of that month. The Fees Office has confirmed that
there was nothing irregular about this practice. At the end of
May 1999, Mr Reid left the Labour Party`s employment and took
up a post in the media. In recognition of his services during
the closing stages of the election campaign Mr Reid was paid a
bonus of £406.78 by the Party.
22. The following chart summarises Mr Kevin Reid`s
employment and academic commitments during the period between
April 1998 and June 1999 inclusive:
(ii) Ms Suzanne Hilliard
23. Ms Hilliard has been a Labour Party volunteer
worker since starting a degree course at the University of Strathclyde
in 1995. She has been particularly active since the 1997 General
Election campaign but, although receiving basic expenses, she
has never been an employee of the Labour Party. From September
1998 she worked in the Party`s media monitoring unit under the
direction of Kevin Reid. Initially Ms Hilliard worked on the morning
media briefing but later moved over to producing the analysis
of the lunchtime media output. This involved afternoon attendance
at Party headquarters (Annex 108). Although not contracted to
the Party, Ms Hilliard received a bonus equal to that paid to
Mr Reid, as a reward for her efforts on the campaign.
24. At the start of November 1998, Ms Hilliard
took up her employment with Dr Reid, replacing Mr Kevin Reid in
his post as a Parliamentary researcher. As in Mr Reid`s case,
the contract was for 20 hours per week at a salary of £10,200
per annum and, initially, the duties were broadly similar. After
a few weeks, however, Ms Hilliard took on the additional task
of assisting Dr Reid in handling his constituency mail, following
the illness of his constituency assistant, who was absent from
duty from early December 1998 until February 1999 and thereafter
worked part-time until July 1999 when she resumed full-time work.
All of Ms Hilliard`s work for Dr Reid was carried out by Ms Hilliard
from home during the morning.
25. After returning to university in October
1998 Ms Hilliard attempted for a while to combine her studies
with both her work for the Party and her job with Dr Reid. This
became increasingly impractical and in early 1999 Ms Hilliard
sought and obtained from the university authorities a one year
voluntary suspension from the degree course.
26. After ceasing to be Dr Reid`s researcher
in June 1999, Ms Hilliard took up a similar post with Mr Maxton,
but at an increased weekly commitment of 25 hours. The salary
for 25 hours, however, was lower£7,200 per annum.
The contract with Mr Maxton came to an end in September 1999.
27. The following chart summarises Ms Hilliard`s
commitments to the Labour Party and to Dr Reid and Mr Maxton,
as well as her academic studies, during the period from April
1998 to September 1999.
(iii) Mr Chris Winslow
28. After studying politics at Glasgow University
Mr Winslow took up a post as Mr Maxton`s Parliamentary researcher
on 1 June 1998 on a part-time contract for "20 hours variable"
per week, for which the annual salary was £6,600. In the
middle of the same month Mr Winslow started work with the Labour
Party in Glasgow, with a commitment to 15 hours per week at a
salary of £6000.
29. Mr Winslow`s work for Mr Maxton consisted
mainly of carrying out policy research, involving a mixture of
regular daily tasks, ad hoc requests for information and long
term projects. In fulfilling these obligations Mr Winslow worked
mainly from home, but also occasionally from Labour Party headquarters,
drawing as necessary on the facilities of the House of Commons
Library. In addition, he kept track of the local print and broadcast
media in order to be able to brief Mr Maxton on political events
30. The duties performed by Mr Winslow for the
Labour Party included policy research and drafting speeches, as
well as contributions to policy forums and manifesto production.
31. In his statement (Annex 101) Mr Winslow explained
that he spent most of the day at his Labour Party office where
he worked on both his Parliamentary and his Party commitments.
In addition he would work at home in the evenings and at weekends.
32. In early November 1998, as a result of the
increasing workload as the Scottish Parliamentary elections approached,
Mr Winslow`s contract with the Party was doubled from 15 to 30
hours per week, on top of his continuing commitment of 20 hours
per week to Mr Maxton. The salary paid by the Party to Mr Winslow
also doubled in November 1998 to £12,000 per annum. From
November 1998, therefore, Mr Winslow was contracted in total for
50 hours work per week for both employers and earned in total
33. Mr Winslow ended his employment with both
Mr Maxton and the Labour Party at the end of May 1999 in order
to take up a post as a special adviser in the newly formed Scottish
Executive. Mr Winslow also received a bonus from the Party of
£406.78 for the extra work he carried out during the last
few weeks of the campaign.
34. The following chart summarises Mr Winslow`s
employment and academic commitments between April 1998 and June
The Scottish Parliament Elections
35. The first elections to the Scottish Parliament
were held on 6 May 1999. The arrangements for the elections were
set out in an Order
made under the Scotland Act 1998. The Order specified a limit
of £1.5 million for expenditure by any one registered political
party "on account of or in respect of the conduct or management
of the election". On 14 January 1999, in anticipation of
the Order, the registered political parties in Scotland entered
into a voluntary agreement to observe this limit (£1.5 million)
on spending. Although the Order came into force only on11 March
1999, it applied to any relevant expenditure by a political party,
whether or not incurred before 14 January 1999.
36. These voluntary arrangements were monitored
by the Scottish Election Commission, chaired by Professor Anthony
King, which required the political parties to file expenditure
returns, itemised under a number of detailed headings, including
staff wages, salaries and expenses.
37. As a letter, dated 13 August 1998 (Annex
188, Appendix C), to Mr Rowley from Mr David Pitt-Watson, Director
of Finance for the Labour Party, made clear, the Party`s budget
for the Scottish Parliament election campaign was a little under
£1.4 million. This figure assumed a contribution of £42,000
from Members of Parliament and MEPs.
60 See paragraphs
73 and 74. Back
paragraphs 73 and 74. Back
paragraphs 73 and 74. Back
Scottish Parliament (Elections etc) Order 1999 (S.I., 1999, No