Examination of Witness (Questions 1 -
TUESDAY 7 NOVEMBER 2000
1. Thank you for coming along this morning,
Mr Rafferty. We are examining the matters that you know about:
the allegations against Mr Reid and Mr Maxton. The first question
I have to put to you is what were your responsibilities as the
Scottish Labour Party's Campaign Co-ordinator between January
and May of last year?
(Mr Rafferty) I was engaged by the Labour
Party as a consultant co-ordinator to the Labour Party election
campaign in the Scottish General Election. My duties included
bringing together the main elements of the campaign, running the
campaign co-ordinating group, identifying the main themes of the
campaign and building up the election strategy.
2. I should point out that it is not our normal
practice to take evidence on oath, but, of course, we may require
you to come back again and, in those circumstances, it is possible
we may require such a statement on oath. You understand the implications
for this meeting today?
(Mr Rafferty) I do.
3. So you believed that some members of the
Scottish Labour Party campaign staff were having their salaries
for Labour Party work paid in part through the office costs allowance.
How did you come to this view?
(Mr Rafferty) I am not sure that I did come to that
view. I had no access or no knowledge of the basis on which people
were employed or how duties were allocated between the various
employments they may have had. It was some considerable time after
the election campaign that it was raised with me in a conference
call by Mr Winslow that that
(Mr Rafferty) By Mr Winslow, another special advisor
in the Scottish Executive, that it may be the case that newspapers
would have been able to make some mischief around the fact that
he had been engaged by Mr Maxton, and he understood for some time
that Mr Reid had been engaged by his father. I was very alarmed
by this, but I do not have any access to the evidence which would
show whether that was the case or not.
5. When did you understand this was the arrangement
(Mr Rafferty) Because that is what was reported to
me in a conference call in September of last year.
6. The colleague's namefor the record?
(Mr Rafferty) Mr Chris Winslow.
7. What do you recall of the remarks made by
Mr Winslow during the conference call after the Scottish Parliament
(Mr Rafferty) The conference call related to another
serious matter, which was that the following day it was to be
announced that a minister was being called to the first Standards
Committee of the Scottish Parliament. I arranged the conference
call to advise the other special advisors of the circumstances.
During that conference call, as I reported to the Commissioner,
Mr Winslow raisedI cannot remember his exact words but
it was words to the effect that he hoped that the newspapers,
who were certainly very active around the issue of the Standards
Committee in the Scottish Parliament, would not make mischief
of the fact that he had been engaged byor he worked for
Mr Maxton for part of the time. His understanding was that Kevin
Reid had also been
8. Forgive me, could you speak a little louder?
(Mr Rafferty) I am sorry. I am recovering from a cold.
9. So what discussion did you have with Mr Winslow
(Mr Rafferty) He raised it in the conference call.
I was very alarmed. I had no detailed discussions with him thereafter,
but because of my concern that perhaps some impropriety had taken
place, I reported the matter to the First Minister.
10. Did you go into the details of the impropriety?
(Mr Rafferty) No, I did not.
11. How did you come to the view that you held
(Mr Rafferty) He raised it in the conference call.
He was clearly concerned. He said he hoped that the newspapers
would not make mischief around the fact that he had been engaged
by Mr Maxton and that Kevin Reid had been engaged by his father.
I was alarmed by this, knowing some impropriety issues that may
12. How did you know about the amount of hours
that both Suzanne Hilliard and Chris Winslow were spending?
(Mr Rafferty) During the election campaign I was there
all day every day, and saw the work which they did. Everyone worked
13. They were working with you in the same room?
The same building?
(Mr Rafferty) Yes, they were?
14. In the same room?
(Mr Rafferty) In the same room.
15. For most of the time?
(Mr Rafferty) Yes.
16. Give us a pattern of the sort of day you
would have had with them.
(Mr Rafferty) The day began, as the election campaign
developed, around 7 o'clock in the morning.
17. They were present at 7 o'clock?
(Mr Rafferty) Kevin Reid was in the office when I
arrived every morning between 7 and 7.30, having prepared the
18. You arrived at what time?
(Mr Rafferty) I arrived around 7 o'clock. This was
in the later stage of the campaign.
19. Would you explain the sort of day you had?
(Mr Rafferty) We would analyse the morning press from
the clippings, prepare for a morning conference call, which was
the strategy meeting of the day. Thereafter, action would arise
out of that and, in the later stages of the campaign, we had a
press conference every morning at 9 o'clock, which lasted for
approximately one hour. Thereafter, on with the business of the
campaign, preparing for the next day.