Select Committee on Standards and Privileges Second Report

Annex 164

Letter to the Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards from Mr Paul McKinney

Thank you for your letter of 17 February. I am sorry for my long delay in replying.

As I mentioned in my last letter I was in the employ of the Labour Party for less than two months and in that time I had no responsibility for personnel matters. I fear that consequently I cannot be of great assistance with the details of your further questions. However I am anxious to help in any way I can and would answer your specific questions as follows.

1.    I was not aware of the employment arrangements of Mr Kevin Reid or Mr Chris Winslow. I do not know, and to the best of my knowledge have not met, Ms Suzanne Hilliard.

2.    I have no recollection of detailed discussions with Dr Reid about the employment of his son. I do recall that Dr Reid indicated that Kevin Reid might be able to assist with press cuttings and other administrative matters.

3.    I had no formal discussions about the employment arrangements for these three people. My only recollection of any discussion about employment was in connection with Kevin Reid as above.

4.    I attended a number of meetings of Labour`s Scottish Strategy Group in April, and from memory one of these was at Keir Hardie House.

5.    I think there may have been a discussion about Kevin Reid assisting me in an administrative capacity following one of these meetings. I am afraid I cannot recollect the detail, but I think Dr Reid suggested his son might be able to give some assistance on an ad hoc basis. I did not discuss any details of payment or hours, as I had no personnel responsibilities in my Labour Party role.

6.    I was not Kevin Reid`s line manager.

7.    I do not know who paid Kevin Reid, and I don`t know if he was paid.

8.    As I have mentioned Kevin Reid did not formally work for me. When he did assist with basic administration I cannot recall an occasion when he was working full time.

9.    I would not have described Kevin Reid`s assistance as that of a media monitor. As I recall he photocopied newspapers and answered occasional phone calls. My memory is of him being in the office a few hours a day, but I am not able to recollect an average for the time he was in Keir Hardie House.

10.  I had not been aware of concerns in these arrangements.

I hope these replies are helpful.

7 March 2000

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