Select Committee on Standards and Privileges Second Report

Annex 85

Statement by Kevin Reid

My full name is Kevin Michael Reid. My address is — — — .

I am 28 years of age.

I am currently a Researcher with Carlton Television in London and have been in that job for 3 months.

I was a student at Stirling University studying history and politics between 1992 and 1996. Between 1996 and 1998 I was doing a two year accelerated LLB at Strathclyde University.

I confirm that I was working part-time for my father, John Reid, as a Researcher between October 1996 and October 1998, initially while I was doing the LLB and latterly when I was on a part-time contract with the Scottish Labour Party. In October 1998 I started working full-time for the Scottish Labour Party in Glasgow and did that until the end of May 1999. In May 1999 I started working for Beattie Media and was there until October.

As far as working for my father is concerned, I confirm that I first worked for him in 1988 in the House of Commons. It was simply an administrative role opening the mail and things like that. During the course of my first degree I did do some work for him as well.

I do not recall exactly when I entered into my contract with my father. It may have been earlier than October 1996. Certainly once I completed my degree at Stirling University I started doing more research work for him. This really consisted of monitoring the Scottish Press with a view to updating my father on Scottish Affairs.

The contract I had with him was part-time and was for 20 hours per week. My salary was £850.00 per month which was a fixed rate. There was no provision for over time or additional payment.

My father had a constituency assistant called Mary McKenna. She was based in his office in Montrose Place in Hamilton. She would look after the constituency work. My role was simply to read the papers and provide my father with briefings on what was happening in Scotland. I would tend to produce reports on a weekly or twice weekly basis and send them down to him in London. I would look at the national papers in Scotland as well as local papers. I would also look at weekly magazines such as the Economist. I also would assist in producing press releases, as well as mailings which would go out within the constituency. I sometimes helped my father with speeches, and recall providing material for a speech he delivered to the Young Fabians, and also a policy forum event in Stirling.

My father did not have a special adviser but if any political task needed to be done then he would ask me to do it.

I did not have a base as such where I did this work. I tended to do most of either in the University Library or at home. I would describe my role effectively as a research one and simply to keep my eyes and ears on Scots politics for my father.

As I have said, I started my two year Law Degree in October 1996. This comprised 14/15 hours a week in classes. I am dyslexic. To be honest I did not go to that many classes and consequently I required to rely on others notes to help me with my studies.

I was able to fit in my studies and obtain my degree, as well as carrying out my duties for my father.

I completed my degree classes in May 1998. I then started with the Labour party on a part-time basis on 25th May 1998. That contract was for 15 hours per week. My duties comprised of coming in early to the office, first of all at Keir Hardie House, and then Delta House, to cover the morning press and media and to produce a briefing paper on the morning news. I tended to do that between 8.30 and 11.30 each morning and then that would be me finished. In the afternoon I would then carry out the duties for my father.

I always left the Labour Party Offices at about lunchtime. Sometimes it was late morning, occasionally it was very early afternoon.

I confirm that as far as my employment with my father was concerned, there was no formal mechanism for recording time spent on the job. As I have indicated it was a part-time contract and the job was research based. I often spent whole Sundays going through all the press and providing my reports for my father after that. That was just the nature of the work.

No Parliamentary Researchers job, whether full-time or part-time, could be described as a 9 to 5 job. There is no set pattern and the job involved working long hours at certain stages and at odd times.

As the job with the Labour Party progressed, there would be times when I would go in earlier. It was so that I could catch the early morning radio programmes to prepare my brief. I would always leave fairly sharpish though. Invariably this was late morning or early afternoon and certainly I was not there until the late afternoon. There were full-time people who were around to cover things at that time. There was no clocking in system or mechanism within the Labour Party Office to record how long you worked there.

While at both Keir Hardie House, and Delta House, I worked quite closely with Lesley Quinn, and she would be able to confirm my hours.

Once I started full-time with the Labour Party in October 1998, it was decided that I should concentrate on working the afternoon and consequently my hours became 7/8 o`clock in morning until 5.30/6.00 o`clock in the evening.

I confirm that throughout my period with the Labour Party, there was no overtime payments though most people did receive a bonus in the month of the Scottish Parliament election, ie May 1999.

I am obviously aware of the allegations which have been made against me. I would say that there is no question of me spending all my time working for the Labour Party when I was on a part-time contract with my father. Obviously once I started working with the Labour Party then my duties there helped me with my job for my father as it involved much of the same type of work, ie reading the newspapers, and monitoring the media. I would say however that I was able to carry out my duties for both my father and the Scottish Labour Party during the period May 1998 to October 1998. The other matter I would point out is that between the contracts, this involved a total of 35 hours work per week. As I have said, the type of jobs I was doing were not 9 to 5 jobs and often involved working weekends. Consequently I was using a lot of my free time which I am perfectly entitled to use in any way I see fit.

14 February 2000

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