Select Committee on Standards and Privileges Second Report

Transcription of the tape of an interview with Ms Suzanne Hilliard held on Friday 7 April 2000

(Patricia Glancy in attendance as a friend)

  Ms Filkin: Thank you Ms Hilliard for coming to see me; it is very good of you and I am sorry to have to bring you all this way, particularly when I know you are very busy. I apologise for that and I hope it does not cause you too much disruption. Have you seen Chris Winslow since this morning?

  Ms Hilliard: Yes, I have; I have just had lunch with him.

  Ms Filkin: Did he tell you about the content of my conversation with him?

  Ms Hilliard: No. He said you had sort of asked questions about me but that was it. Basically he told me not to bother because he knew I was worried about my exams and coming down, various issues. But we had lunch and we talked about university and a lot of different things but no, not the content.

  Ms Filkin: Would you start off by taking me through the work you do for the Labour Party, when you started working in the Labour Party offices, on what basis you worked there and at what point you went onto a paid contract?

  Ms Hilliard: In the summer of 1998 I was in Romania doing a charity project and I came back at the end of August and I went into Delta House, which is in Glasgow, the headquarters as you know, and I was saying it was a month before I had to go back to university—I had given up my part-time job in a clothes shop and was looking for something to cover the time—and I said I would be willing to do anything but I had previous experience of media monitoring during the 1997 election campaign. So I started volunteering in the media monitoring unit.

  Ms Filkin: When was that precisely?

  Ms Hilliard: That was probably the beginning of September.

  Ms Filkin: That was September 1998.

  Ms Hilliard: September 1998, yes.

  Ms Filkin: Then what happened.

  Ms Hilliard: Basically there was a number of students going in, going out whenever they had time. The difference in 1997 was that there was not exactly a media unit as such but by 1998 they had developed like a structure and it was like a temporary working and so on and so forth. So it was like I spent the first week or so just learning how to do that. So I would go in with Kevin early in the mornings and then as I got to know what was going on I would go in and cover the lunchtime news broadcasts. So that probably lasted until I went back to university. Then when I went back to university—

  Ms Filkin: That was as a volunteer.

  Ms Hilliard: Yes, it was completely voluntary. I mean I was never and I have never been employed by the Labour Party.

  Ms Filkin: You had not got any other paid employment at the time.

  Ms Hilliard: At the time, no, in September.

  Ms Filkin: You had given up your part-time work.

  Ms Hilliard: Yes, I gave that up because I was going away for two months. I had given up my part-time job which I had previously in a clothes shop. I did not really want to stay there anyway, to be honest. So I had given that up. I went back to university, term started round about 30 September/1 October and by that time I had sort of deduced that whatever I was looking after was in the evening so I would go in round about usually half past three to four o'clock to half past six or half past seven. I was doing that work throughout that time, going in at half past three and staying to half past seven. Towards the election, I would be staying a bit later, because, there were broadcasts and the Kirsty Wark show and so on, they were on later so you had to video it; and if there was a transcript needed or anything, you would stay and do that.

  Ms Filkin: I am not quite clear about that. You went in as a volunteer up until your term started.

  Ms Hilliard: No, I was always a volunteer.

  Ms Filkin: Then you went in after the term started as a volunteer.

  Ms Hilliard: Yes. I was a volunteer throughout the time I was there.

  Ms Filkin: You worked about how many hours as a volunteer.

  Ms Hilliard: Voluntarily I was sort of Monday to Friday, about three to four hours a day.

  Ms Filkin: When it got nearer the election, how many hours a day did you work as a volunteer then?

  Ms Hilliard: Maybe six or seven.

  Ms Filkin: Six or seven as a volunteer.

  Ms Hilliard: It really depended what work there was. If there was a broadcast on, maybe like once a week, these would be broadcast later and I would obviously stay on. It was never, like, obviously, do .  .  .

  Ms Filkin: So more than six or seven.

  Ms Hilliard: No, no.

  Ms Filkin: That sort of time.

  Ms Hilliard: That sort; I would stay for a period of about seven hours.

  Ms Filkin: How often a week would you do that as a volunteer?

  Ms Hilliard: How do you mean?

  Ms Filkin: Did you do that every day?

  Ms Hilliard: Yes, I was committed to the Labour Party so it was like I volunteered throughout my time at university and three hours a day was not that much.

  Ms Filkin: But when you got to six or seven hours a day how long were you doing that?

  Ms Hilliard: Six or seven hours then we are talking the two or three weeks before the election and by that time, you will know, I had actually left university.

  Ms Filkin: We shall get onto that and get that clear. So you are talking about two or three weeks before—

  Ms Hilliard: When things were heating up, as it were.

  Ms Filkin: Yes. You were there for longer hours as a volunteer six or seven hours a day.

  Ms Hilliard: No, it was not every day. It was when it was required and I was not going to say no.

  Ms Filkin: Did you go at weekends?

  Ms Hilliard: No.

  Ms Filkin: This was just Monday to Friday.

  Ms Hilliard: Yes.

  Ms Filkin: Take me through then what was happening with your university. You went back to university on 1 October 1998. When did you withdraw?

  Ms Hilliard: I decided basically end November that it was impossible. I thought I could do everything and it was just not happening and I sort of decided that the problem was, I had been thinking about it, that I would not do myself justice if I stayed at university and I was concerned as well and I was working for Dr Reid in the morning and I was just, like, you know, but I think now by the end of November I probably knew and I was not going to classes. I remember, I think it was the second week in December, there was course work due and I knew essentially I could not do it and even if I did do it, it would not be of a standard which would be acceptable to me. So I think I wrote a letter to the university towards the end of November/beginning December and it was confirmed to me that I could take this year out by letter at the end of January.

  Ms Filkin: When did you take up your studies again?

  Ms Hilliard: October 1999 it would be; yes, October 1999.

  Ms Filkin: Now take me through the details in relation to the appointment to Dr Reid. You were working as a volunteer in the office.

  Ms Hilliard: Yes. I think. It was probably about the end of October. Kevin had sort of said to me, I think it was one time when we went for a drink, and he said—"and I knew he worked for his Dad—"and he said "my Dad will be looking for somebody else and you know you have been coming in blah, blah. So he put me in touch with his Dad and I went out and met John in Glasgow and we had a chat and, you know, I said I would think about it but I was quite excited because it was a really good opportunity so I said yes.

  Ms Filkin: What did he say the job would consist of?

  Ms Hilliard: I was basically to take over the duties Kevin had had, had done previously, which was dealing with any, you know, sort of press in a sense of keeping an eye on his local papers, what were the local issues, because there was quite a lot happening at that time, what was going on and, you know, keeping an eye on things going on in the Scottish press which he might be interested in. He would phone me and ask me to tell him what was happening today etcetera, etcetera.

  Ms Filkin: What were you doing in your volunteer capacity for the Party at the same time?

  Ms Hilliard: By this time I was going in round about half past three/four o'clock to about half six/seven o'clock and I was covering the Newsdrive programme on Radio Scotland and the two broadcast news on BBC and ITV.

  Ms Filkin: Were you doing different work for Dr Reid?

  Ms Hilliard: The thing was that they were both media work but the work I was doing for Dr Reid was specific to Dr Reid. It was his local paper, what were the specific issues, was there anything I thought he should maybe be saying something on, about keeping him updated on what was happening, keeping an eye on anything to do with transport in Scotland, what kind of things were happening at the time, that sort of idea.

  Ms Filkin: Some of the witnesses I have seen have told me the main reason for Kevin Reid changing onto a full-time Labour Party contract and asking you to work for his father was because there was concern that the Conservatives had been attacked in the press for employing people part time on Party activities while they were employed as Members' research assistants. Was that discussed with you at the time?

  Ms Hilliard: No.

  Ms Filkin: Did you know about those concerns?

  Ms Hilliard: No.

  Ms Filkin: Did anybody mention those to you?

  Ms Hilliard: Nobody at all; no.

  Ms Filkin: When did you first know that there had been those concerns?

  Ms Hilliard: I did not until you told me just now. I am not aware of any concerns that anybody had. If I could explain. If there was a food chain involved then I did not know anything about that.

  Ms Filkin: If there was what?

  Ms Hilliard: You know, like, I just mean that I was sort of, I did not know anything like that. That is what I mean to say. I just was not aware.

  Ms Filkin: Has anybody raised that with you since?

  Ms Hilliard: No.

  Ms Filkin: I understand that there was a fairly significant conference call between a set of people who worked in the office, special advisers, etcetera and Mr John Rafferty in which Chris Winslow raised this concern. Do you know anything about that?

  Ms Hilliard: What concern?

  Ms Filkin: This concern about the publicity about the Conservatives.

  Ms Hilliard: I know nothing about conference calls; no, nothing about conference calls at all.

  Ms Filkin: Who in the Labour Party office where you were working as a volunteer was aware that you had been employed by Dr Reid?

  Ms Hilliard: Kevin obviously. I had spoken to Kevin about this and apart from that I do not know who else knew. I certainly never made a point of telling people.

  Ms Filkin: When did you do the work for Dr Reid and where did you do it from?

  Ms Hilliard: I did it mainly from my flat in Glasgow in the mornings.

  Ms Filkin: Over that whole period?

  Ms Hilliard: Yes.

  Ms Filkin: So you would be listening to the radio and you were having the press there, were you?

  Ms Hilliard: Well, the thing was as well, I think it was towards the end of November, John had approached me and said that his constituency assistant, who worked in the office Hamilton, was very, very unwell and it was looking more likely that she was going to have to go into hospital. So John sort of said to me "Look, Suzanne, I've got this mail and I need somebody to look after it", so basically that was a more pressing concern for Dr Reid. I sort of spent most of my time working for John, dealing with his mail.

  Ms Filkin: When were you doing what you told me about the press cuttings and looking at his local press.

  Ms Hilliard: I still kept an eye on the local press throughout the whole period I was employed by him. I did the press cuttings work in the morning.

  Ms Filkin: In your flat.

  Ms Hilliard: Yes.

  Ms Filkin: Mainly in your flat. How did you communicate with him? He was presumably either in Edinburgh or in London. (We shall provide you with a transcript.) You were doing that from your flat. How did you communicate with Dr Reid?

  Ms Hilliard: I would page him or more generally, he would phone me if there was anything. I would meet him whenever he was in Scotland. We would meet up and we exchanged all the mail.

  Ms Filkin: Would you be in contact with him most days?

  Ms Hilliard: Not most days; every two or three days I would see him. It was not every day; every other day.

  Ms Filkin: Would you leave messages for him? How would you do it? I am trying to understand how you worked.

  Ms Hilliard: Basically when he brought me up a whole pile of mail I was trusted to take away all this mail. You can imagine what an MP's mail bag is like when I was getting it and maybe on a fortnightly basis I would go, sort out all the circulars and so on, you can imagine, but if there was anything I needed to talk to him about I would just page him and if there was anything he wanted to know about he would more often phone me on my mobile.

  Ms Filkin: How often did that happen?

  Ms Hilliard: Every couple of days. It was not every day; I was not in touch with him every day but maybe every other day; every couple of days basically.

  Ms Filkin: You would communicate in that way. Do you know anything at all about the period of time before you started work for Dr Reid when Kevin Reid was working for Dr Reid?

  Ms Hilliard: How do you mean?

  Ms Filkin: Do you know anything about those arrangements? Do you know what Kevin Reid was doing?

  Ms Hilliard: I took it he was doing the research some times and anything that John had asked him to do. I know he was at Delta House in the mornings and he was away eleven/twelve o'clock. So I think he worked for his Dad in the afternoons.

  Ms Filkin: You have given me the impression that you had no set times working either for the Labour Party or for Dr Reid and that there was no particular need to compartmentalise the jobs. Is this accurate?

  Ms Hilliard: They were compartmentalised in the sense that I would work for John in the morning and I was always in Delta House late afternoon/early evening. If you want to compartmentalise that, that was how it worked.

  Ms Filkin: So in the afternoon you did not work for Dr Reid, you just worked for him in the morning.

  Ms Hilliard: I was trusted. Any time I took going to meet John and give him all the mail and let him know, when we had our meetings, you know. I suppose it was just that some days I worked for him, you know, about six hours, another day I would maybe do three hours, an hour at the weekend or whatever.

  Ms Filkin: But that was at home.

  Ms Hilliard: That was at home. The thing was that when I was dealing with the mail, a lot of it involved reading all the circulars. There were so many people in Delta House, I did it from my own flat in peace and quiet.

  Ms Filkin: Would you ever be working for Dr Reid when you were in Delta House?

  Ms Hilliard: No; no.

  Ms Filkin: Did you always have contact with Dr Reid in Edinburgh or were you some of the time in London?

  Ms Hilliard: No, I worked from my flat in Glasgow.

  Ms Filkin: Sorry, Glasgow. But you always had contact with Dr Reid in Glasgow. You did not come to London at all.

  Ms Hilliard: No.

  Ms Filkin: I have several witnesses who have told me that in fact when you were employed by Dr Reid they understood you to be full time available for Labour Party work. In fact I have several witnesses who say that from the Labour Party. Do you think that is true?

  Ms Hilliard: No, it is certainly not true.

  Ms Filkin: Why do you think several different people, who do not appear to have any connection with each other, say that?

  Ms Hilliard: I cannot speak for other people, but I was in Delta House in the afternoon and early evening and as far as I am aware nobody knew what I was doing from my own home and that was where I was doing my work for Dr Reid.

  Ms Filkin: In the period of time you have talked about near the election, when you were working longer hours for the Party, I understand from one of my witnesses that you communicated to him that you were under extreme pressure, that you were working extremely long hours for the Party. Is this untrue?

  Ms Hilliard: I was working sometimes quite late at night and sometimes on my own and the media monitoring was quite a pressurised job in the sense that TV and radio are important and you have to make sure you get it right. So yes, I was under pressure in that sense.

  Ms Filkin: Were you working very long hours?

  Ms Hilliard: Not particularly long hours. Everybody was working more for two or three weeks before an election campaign everybody was doing more but we were not particularly long not compared to what other people were doing.

  Ms Filkin: How many hours were there?

  Ms Hilliard: I said to you I was still going in maybe sometimes about two and maybe sometimes doing about eight, sometimes going in about four and staying to about ten when the late programmes were on.

  Ms Filkin: So you are saying it is not true when somebody has said to me that you would have had no spare time in which you could work on Dr Reid's work at that time.

  Ms Hilliard: Sorry?

  Ms Filkin: Somebody has said to me that certainly in the last few weeks running up to the election you claimed you had no spare time and you appeared to have no spare time because you were in the office very, very long hours. Are you saying that is untrue?

  Ms Hilliard: Yes; yes, I am. I am saying I never said that. It is not the case because I always had my mornings free to do my work for Dr Reid which I took very seriously.

  Ms Filkin: Could you now talk me through what you know of the arrangements for employing Chris Winslow? What was your understanding of the way in which his time was split between his research role and his work for the Party?

  Ms Hilliard: The vast majority of time I was volunteering in Delta House I was going in only in the afternoons and sometimes Chris was there and sometimes he was not.

  Ms Filkin: Did you know about his employment arrangements as to who employed him?

  Ms Hilliard: Do you mean his research position for Mr Maxton?

  Ms Filkin: Both.

  Ms Hilliard: Yes, I knew about his research job with Mr Maxton.

  Ms Filkin: When did you know about that?

  Ms Hilliard: I could not honestly tell you. I do not know; I just knew; I just did.

  Ms Filkin: Was this before you started work as a volunteer?

  Ms Hilliard: I do not know, I might have done. I honestly could not tell you. I do not know. It was not something which sticks out in my mind.

  Ms Filkin: You knew he worked for Mr Maxton.

  Ms Hilliard: Yes.

  Ms Filkin: Did you know he worked for the Labour Party?

  Ms Hilliard: Yes, he was there. I do not know his contractual arrangements.

  Ms Filkin: Did you know they changed at any point?

  Ms Hilliard: No.

  Ms Filkin: Did he talk to you about the time when he got more hours?

  Ms Hilliard: No. Although Chris and I are friends we never really discussed anything like that.

  Ms Filkin: Let us go back to Kevin Reid. Were you aware of any evidence to suggest that during the time he was being paid as Dr Reid's research assistant he was actually working full time for the Party?

  Ms Hilliard: No; not at all. During September I was going in at lunchtimes while Kevin was usually going away by then. During October I was going in by half past three to four o'clock and Kevin was not there.

  Ms Filkin: Were you aware when you started working for Dr Reid that the rules in relation to your research salary meant that you could not use hours when you were paid for research work to do party political work?

  Ms Hilliard: I think so. I do not think anybody had ever said that to me, but I am aware, I am sure, I know, you know.

  Ms Filkin: Do you think this rule was known widely in the Party headquarters? Were people aware of this?

  Ms Hilliard: I cannot speak for other people's knowledge of parliamentary procedures.

  Ms Filkin: Did Mr Rowley ever mention it to you?

  Ms Hilliard: No.

  Ms Filkin: One of my witnesses says that you said to him that you had, and I quote, "been taken on by the Party with Maxton's money". Is this true?

  Ms Hilliard: Maxton's money?

  Ms Filkin: Yes.

  Ms Hilliard: No, I worked for .  .  . my employment with John Maxton was .  .  . I do not know that this has anything to do with .  .  . I worked for Mr Maxton July, over the summer before I went back to university.

  Ms Filkin: We shall think about that in a minute. You are saying that while you were employed by Mr Maxton you did not—

  Ms Hilliard: I was still doing a bit of volunteering but not—

  Ms Filkin: Talk me through the employment by Mr Maxton. What were those days?

  Ms Hilliard: It must have been about June sometime.

  Ms Filkin: June? Which year?

  Ms Hilliard: Last year, 1999.

  Ms Filkin: Until?

  Ms Hilliard: September 1999. It was basically just a summer job because I was going back to university.

  Ms Filkin: What work were you doing for him?

  Ms Hilliard: I was working from his house in Hamilton, just doing his constituency work. He was in Arran for part of the time, so I was just keeping an eye on things.

  Ms Filkin: When you had your job with Dr Reid, going back to the campaign, and you were working as a volunteer for the Labour Party, were you required to keep any check of the hours you were working for the Labour Party?

  Ms Hilliard: No. I was a volunteer but I did go in when I said I would be there. I did take it seriously. But no, I never kept a diary or anything.

  Ms Filkin: Did you get any bonus payment from the Labour Party?

  Ms Hilliard: No.

  Ms Filkin: Are you prepared to say, on oath if necessary, with all the perjury things which come into play when you swear to something on oath, are you prepared to say, on oath if necessary, if the Standards and Privileges Committee ask you, that you have never worked on Labour Party business or campaign or been paid during hours you were paid by the Fees Office?

  Ms Hilliard: Yes, I am.

  Ms Filkin: Talk me through how you created your statement. Did you take advice on your statement to me?

  Ms Hilliard: If I could explain some of the background, what happened was that I was in my boyfriend's flat in January some time and I received a phone call from a journalist who was making accusations towards me. I asked him how he got the phone number, because I did not live in this flat and I was very concerned. I was really upset, to be quite honest.

  Ms Filkin: I am sure.

  Ms Hilliard: I was crying actually and I phoned my Mum and Dad and my boyfriend obviously and I spoke to Dr Reid and said I was really worried. I was quite upset about it all. Dr Reid suggested I take advice and he got a lawyer to call me.

  Ms Filkin: What was the name of the lawyer?

  Ms Hilliard: Gordon Dalyell.

  Ms Filkin: So it was Dr Reid who arranged that.

  Ms Hilliard: Yes.

  Ms Filkin: Who was Gordon Dalyell? What was he? Was he a solicitor or barrister?

  Ms Hilliard: Yes, he was a solicitor.

  Ms Filkin: Does he work for the Labour Party?

  Ms Hilliard: No.

  Ms Filkin: Who has paid for the advice you have had?

  Ms Hilliard: I have not had the bill so far, but I will probably get one.

  Ms Filkin: Have you discussed fees with him?

  Ms Hilliard: No, I have not discussed fees with him, no.

  Ms Filkin: Did you have any expectation of paying the fees?

  Ms Hilliard: Probably. I went to see him, so .  .  .

  Ms Filkin: Surely you would have discussed fees with him before you took advice, if you were going to pay the fees.

  Ms Hilliard: I never really considered it. I have not spoken to him about legal fees. At the time I was just so worried.

  Ms Filkin: Tell me what you were worried about.

  Ms Hilliard: I was worried because there were stories in the paper. I had a journalist phoning me somewhere where I do not live. I was really, really upset. It also happened the day before my university 15,000 word dissertation was handed in. I was in a state. I was upset that somebody was saying this. I was genuinely upset.

  Ms Filkin: So you went to see this solicitor and it was fixed up by Dr Reid.

  Ms Hilliard: Yes.

  Ms Filkin: Did you go alone? Were there any other researchers?

  Ms Hilliard: Yes, I went by myself.

  Ms Filkin: Did you discuss the matter with any other researchers at the time?

  Ms Hilliard: Obviously Chris and I were friends and I sort of said this phonecall had happened and I said John was going to put me in touch with somebody and that person happened to be Gordon and I told Chris the name of the solicitor I was going to see. I think from there he fixed up to go to see Gordon himself.

  Ms Filkin: I am sorry. I cannot remember what you said. Does Gordon Dalyell advise the Labour Party?

  Ms Hilliard: No, not as far as I know.

  Ms Filkin: So you went to see him. How did you agree the statement that you sent to me? Did he send you a draft? What happened?

  Ms Hilliard: No, they were my words. We had a conversation and he typed them up and that was it.

  Ms Filkin: He sent them to you for you to sign and send off.

  Ms Hilliard: I think so, yes. To be honest I cannot remember exactly but they are my words I said at the time and which were typed up.

  Ms Filkin: I am not suggesting that, I am just trying to understand the process. Could you try to recall that?

  Ms Hilliard: I think it was sent to me and I signed it.

  Ms Filkin: Since that, could you run through with me with whom you have discussed this inquiry?

  Ms Hilliard: Obviously my parents, because they were concerned when I phoned them very upset. My partner, my parents just people. I was, like, a bit upset about the timing obviously and that was what my main worry has been about all this, you know, the university.

  Ms Filkin: Have you discussed it with Dr Reid since you asked for his advice and he sent you to a lawyer?

  Ms Hilliard: I spoke with Dr Reid on the phone yesterday.

  Ms Filkin: Yes. What did he say to you?

  Ms Hilliard: He just said, "All the best for tomorrow and go in, tell the truth and everything".

  Ms Filkin: He knew you were coming. How did he know that? Did you tell him?

  Ms Hilliard: I must have done.

  Ms Filkin: So you have had various conversations with him.

  Ms Hilliard: Well, a few, not—

  Ms Filkin: What has been the content of those conversations?

  Ms Hilliard: He just said not to worry about it and put me in touch with Gordon and so on and so forth. Nothing sinister about the conversations.

  Ms Filkin: I did not imply they were sinister, I wanted to know the content.

  Ms Hilliard: He phoned me just to make sure I was okay really and he knew that this was a bad time and all the best.

  Ms Filkin: What about the other conversations you have had?

  Ms Hilliard: I have only spoken to him two or three times.

  Ms Filkin: What did you say and what did he say?

  Ms Hilliard: To be honest with you, I really cannot remember. He would phone and say, "Is everything okay? Nothing to worry about", you know, just things like that, nothing else.

  Ms Filkin: Have you talked to Mr Maxton?

  Ms Hilliard: I saw Mr Maxton last weekend.

  Ms Filkin: Tell me what you talked about?

  Ms Hilliard: He just mentioned it, that was all. I am a friend of the Maxton family so it was not the only thing we talked about.

  Ms Filkin: I am sure. Just tell me what you said about the inquiry and what Mr Maxton said about the inquiry?

  Ms Hilliard: It is up to Mr Maxton. I am sure you know Mr Maxton's opinions and I am not here to speak for Mr Maxton. I think he was a bit concerned about me having to find the money for the plane fare, coming down quite so close to my exams, but that was really the conversation that we had last weekend.

  Ms Filkin: Did you at any time talk with him about what your replies were going to be?

  Ms Hilliard: Not at all.

  Ms Filkin: Did you with Dr Reid?

  Ms Hilliard: No.

  Ms Filkin: Either before you went to the solicitor or .  .  .

  Ms Hilliard: To either person?

  Ms Hilliard: No; not discuss.

  Ms Filkin: Thank you very much indeed. It was very good of you to answer my questions. What I now need to ask you, if I may, is that you have been very good and answered my questions, but I now have to ask you whether you would reflect and see whether there is any other information which you ought to give me, so that I have a total picture of what happened, so that nothing is kept from me or the Committee. Could I ask you to think about that and whether there is anything else you think I ought to know.

  Ms Hilliard: No, I do not think so. I think we have covered everything.

  Ms Filkin: Could I ask when you go away from here, I shall obviously send you a copy of the tape, if you would correct it and send it back to me, if you would and if there is anything in there which you regard as personal or private and you would like me to try to keep quiet, perhaps you would indicate that.

  Ms Hilliard: Yes.

  Ms Filkin: I should be grateful if you could do that as soon as you could.

  Ms Hilliard: Yes.

  Ms Filkin: If after you have left here, when you are thinking about our conversation, and you now know what I need to know, if there is anything you think I should know, could I ask you to tell me?

  Ms Hilliard: Certainly.

  Ms Filkin: Last question. Are there other people who you think were around at the time, who have information, who will be able to confirm to me what you are saying one way or another?

  Ms Hilliard: I do not know. No, I do not think so. I obviously do not know who you have talked with.

  Ms Filkin: I wonder when you get home whether you would send me copies of your phone bills throughout the period of time you were working for Dr Reid?

  Ms Hilliard: I do not have the phone any more and I do not have the phone bills.

  Ms Filkin: Perhaps you would get them for me from BT. You can get itemised phone bills and you can get duplicates of them. I obviously ask you for those rather than getting them myself. Could I ask you to do that for me?

  Ms Hilliard: Okay; fine.

  Ms Filkin: Thank you very much. If there is any other documentation which could support what you have told me, because obviously that is why I am asking for that, perhaps you would let me have it. Is that all right?

  Ms Hilliard: Yes; certainly.

  Ms Filkin: I am sorry that has been rather long-winded. Best wishes for your finals. When do they start?

  Ms Hilliard: Second of May.

  Ms Filkin: My youngest is starting her finals on 2 or 3 May, so you are both in the same boat. Best wishes. I hope you are successful and I look forward to receiving your phone bill.

  (Corrected by witness 18 April 2000 (see footnotes))

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