Select Committee on Standards and Privileges Third Report

Annex G

Letter to Mr John Rowan from the Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards

You kindly answered some questions from me on the telephone in May of this year relating to a report published by the Standards and Privileges Committee of the House of Commons into complaints against Mr John Maxton and a further complaint lodged by Mr Dean Nelson alleging that the evidence provided to the Committee during that enquiry by Mr Maxton was misleading.

The original complaint was that Mr Maxton "had misled the Fees Office and abused public money by using Westminster allowances to pay full-time campaigners in Labour's Scottish Parliament election campaign."

I explained to you that, as Mr Maxton had retired from Parliament, I did not know whether the Standards and Privileges Committee would wish to pursue the matter but if they decided to do so, I would contact you again.

The Standards and Privileges Committee met on 18th July 2001 and decided that I should pursue my preliminary enquiries into these matters and I am therefore writing to you for your assistance.

I understand that you were a member of staff in the offices of the Scottish Labour Party in 1999 and that you therefore may have information about the employment of other staff at that time.

I would be grateful if you would let me know the following:

1.  The dates when you were employed by the Scottish Labour Party

2.  The information of which you were aware at any time, about the employment arrangements relating to Ms S Hilliard, Mr C Winslow, Mr Jamie Maxton and Mr Kevin Reid

3.  Whether you knew of any arrangement between Mr John Maxton and the Labour Party to use, for Party work, staff employed on House of Commons salaries during time paid for by the House of Commons. If so, please give the details of which you were aware and  by whom you were informed of these details.

4.  What you know of the letter sent by Mr Maxton to Ms Quinn dated 10 November 1999, including to whom was it circulated, whether there was any covering letter, and what staffing resources, as referred to in this letter, Mr Maxton had provided over the past years to the Party and on what basis (copy attached).

5.  You told me that, having read newspaper articles following the publication of the Committee's report on the complaints against Mr Maxton, you felt Mr Alex Rowley had been unfairly treated. Please would you set out these concerns as they relate to the complaints against Mr John Maxton?

6.  Any other information related to these matters and in particular the correspondence between Ms Quinn and Mr Maxton, which will give me a full and accurate account.

If you prefer to discuss these matters in person I would be grateful if you would telephone my office to arrange a convenient time for us to talk on the telephone or meet. I must ask you not to discuss this letter or your reply with any other person.

May I thank you in advance for your assistance.

23 July 2001

previous page contents next page

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

© Parliamentary copyright 2001
Prepared 31 October 2001