Select Committee on Standards and Privileges Second Report

Annex 188

Letter to the Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards from Mr Jonathan Upton

Thank you for letter of 17 April. I am sorry that you have had difficulty in arranging to discuss this matter with me.

I enclose information and documents relating to the points you raise in your letter as follows (using your numbering):

1)  Letters of appointment for Kevin Reid and Chris Winslow dated 19 June 1998 (Appendix A). Please note that there is an error contained in the letter to Chris Winslow—he was in fact employed as a Research Assistant.

Suzanne Hiliard was a volunteer worker during the Scottish general election and we do not have a contract of employment for her.

Given the passage of time I cannot be precise about when I became aware that Kevin Reid and Chris Winslow had other employment to that of the Labour Party.

2)  Letter to Kevin Reid and Chris Winslow dated 19 October 1998 and 3 November 1998 respectively varying their initial contracts (Appendix B). In the case of Kevin Reid, offering him a full time job with effect from 12 October 1998. In the case of Chris Winslow, an increase in his hours of work with effect from 1 November 1998. The changes in hours reflect changes in the volume of work as we approached the Scottish general election. This is not an unusual occurrence within the party.

3)  I enclose details of the Scottish general election budgetary arrangements (Appendix C).

4)  I assume that your reference to a bonus related to the Scottish general election allowance. A small sum of money, £8,000, was set aside to reward staff after the election campaign for effort "above and beyond the call of duty"—the number of hours worked in excess of contractual hours was the benchmark for this. The pool of £8,000 remained constant but the distribution to individuals was varied dependent on the allocation by the local management to one of the three broad bands:

    Band I     —   5-15 hours extra per week
    Band II   —   15-25 hours extra per week
    Band III    —   25 hours extra per week

Chris Winslow and Kevin Reid were placed in Band III and received payments of £406.78 each. This sum was paid through the payroll.

I also enclose a confirmation of payment of £406.78 made to Suzanne Hilliard (Appendix D). Although she was not a member of staff it was felt appropriate to recognise her enormous effort during the campaign. This was paid by cheque.

I have endeavoured to answer your questions fully and provide the information you requested. I am sure you will understand that I could not have day to day knowledge of the management of staff in any regional and national office outside of London. I think the contents of this letter should obviate the necessity for us to meet this Thursday.

19 April 2000

previous page contents next page

House of Commons home page Parliament home page House of Lords home page search page enquiries index

© Parliamentary copyright 2000
Prepared 22 December 2000