Select Committee on Standards and Privileges Second Report

Annex 137

File note by the Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards

    Dr Reid & Mr Maxton
    18 May 2000
    Telephone conversation with Alex Rowley

I telephoned Alex Rowley and asked him—"are there any documents or Labour Party letters which you know of which make reference to the employment conditions and salary arrangements for Kevin Reid and/or Chris Winslow or Suzanne Hilliard?" I asked him had he written, seen or been aware of any financial references given by the Party for any of these people. He said that his understanding was that there was a letter, he wasn`t sure as he couldn`t remember whether he had written it himself or whether it had been written by Annmarie Whyte. But it had certainly been agreed by him and Annmarie Whyte. He thought it had been created and sent in May 1998. He did not recall this letter until he was made aware of it two weeks before Dean Nelson broke his story in The Observer in June 1999. I asked who had made him aware of it at that time and he said Leslie Quinn. He said that she had confirmed to him that there was a letter on file which confirmed that Kevin Reid was in the full-time employment of the Labour Party. Leslie Quinn had told him at that point that she was under pressure to remove that letter but that she was declining to do so. Alex Rowley asked her what she thought he should do about it if anybody asked questions of him and Leslie Quinn said to him that he should tell the truth. I told Alex Rowley that I would write to him immediately with my same questions so that I could have his answer in writing for my records and he said he would provide it.

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