Select Committee on Standards and Privileges Second Report

Annex 206

Letter to Mr Andrew Walker, Director of Finance and Administration, House of Commons, from the Registrar of Members` Interests

Elizabeth Filkin and I are very grateful to you and Archie Cameron for sparing the time to talk to us yesterday about the Scottish Labour Party (SLP) budget figures as they relate to the complaint against Dr Reid and Mr Maxton.

You kindly agreed to think further about the figures and, in particular, you offered to let us have a brief analysis of both the innocent, as well as the more questionable, interpretation which might be placed upon them in the light of the main thrust of the complaint about alleged misuse of public funds.

In return I agreed to let you have four items of further information, as follows:

    (i)    the original SLP budget documents (the authenticity of the first of which is still challenged by Labour Party HQ in London)
    (ii)  details of the bonuses paid to the three researchers
    (iii)  the contract letters sent to Mr Reid and Mr Winslow
    (iv)  the previous employment history with the Party of the three researchers.

Item (i) is included in the attached letter from Mr Alex Rowley (former General Secretary of the SLP), together with his explanation as to why he thought `topping up` may have been built into the budget assumptions.

Items (ii) and (iii) are included in the attached letter from Jonathan Upton, Director of Personnel at Labour Party HQ in London.

As far as item (iv) is concerned, the information is as follows:

    Kevin Reid joined the Labour Party on a part-time contract (15 hours a week) on 25 May 1998, before becoming full-time on 12 October 1998

    Chris Winslow joined the Labour Party on a part-time contract (15 hours a week) on 13 June 1998, before going on to a 30 hours a week contract on 3 November 1998

    Suzanne Hilliard has never been employed by the Labour Party but has worked for them as a volunteer, subject to reimbursement of expenses.

Thank you again for your help.

11 May 2000

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