Select Committee on Standards and Privileges Second Report

Annex 101

Statement by Chris Winslow

My full name is Christopher Harry Winslow. I reside at — — —.

I am 27 years of age.

I am currently employed with the Policy Unit of the Scottish Executive and have been in that job since 17th May 1999.

I was a student at Glasgow University studying politics until the Summer of 1998.

From June 1998 to June 1999, I was employed on part-time contracts with both the Labour Party, and with John Maxton, MP.

I started my job with John Maxton on 1st June 1998. It was a part-time contract and my hours were 20 hours variable. I was paid £6,500 per annum.

I think I started with the Labour Party on 13th or 14th June 1998.

The role I had with John Maxton was a research one. Principally I was to carry out the policy research, into all sorts of areas. I carried this out mostly at my home, and also in Delta House, the headquarters of the Scottish Labour Party.

I confirm that I did not do any constituency work for John.

I confirm that the work I carried out for John Maxton was a mix of regular day to day tasks, some specific requests, and blocks of longer term research. In relation to the latter, I would use the facilities offered by the House of Commons Library. I remember carrying out a lot of research for John Maxton into the economic consequences of devolution as opposed to independence. I also remember carrying out a lot of work in respect of the distribution of National Lottery funds in Scotland. John Maxton was particularly interested in these topics. On these and other subjects I obtained information from the House of Commons Library. The situation was that I would phone up and request the information and they would send that out though the letter sent out would be addressed to John Maxton and would record the fact that the material had been requested by his researcher.

As I have indicated, I started working with the Labour Party on 13th/14th June 1998. That was a part-time contract and I was contracted to work 15 hours per week.

The hours were variable. Between June and November I was really just finding my feet and carrying out various tasks. During the course of the year, I spent quite a lot of time looking at issues to do with SNP policy, as well as contributing to writing speeches, policy forum work, and also some manifesto work for the Labour Party.

Initially I worked a normal working day in that I would be in the office by about 9 am and I would tend to leave anytime between 6 pm and 7 pm. I was therefore spending at least 45 hours per week working in the office. The work I was doing was both for the Labour Party and for John Maxton.

I confirm that I would also work at home in the evenings, as well as at weekends.

I would spend some of each day reading the papers to keep up with events and issues. John Maxton was quite keen to keep well abreast of issues covered by the Glasgow Herald newspaper and I confirm that I would also go through local newspapers such as the Eastwood Extra and the Glaswegian. I would not read those papers in the context of my work for the Scottish Labour Party.

On 3rd November 1998, my contract with the Labour party changed to the effect that my hours were increased. The new hours were up to a maximum of 30 hours.

This meant that I was now contracted to do up to maximum of 50 hours per week. I confirm that I was certainly doing on average 50 hours per week if not a lot more. There were in fact very few weeks when I would have been doing as little as 50 hours. From November onwards, I was working at least 10 to 12 hours per day in Delta House and in addition doing work in the evening. I confirm that John Maxton had no difficulty with me carrying out work both for him and for the Labour Party. I was carrying out all the tasks that he required me to do. He employed me to look at certain aspects of policy and that is what I did for him. While I did not keep a record of time spent working I confirm that I was spending a significant portion of my working week doing work for John Maxton. It was broadly of the order of 20 hours per week over the period June 1998 to June 1999.

I should also perhaps explain the situation in relation to my holiday entitlement. I think that I was entitled to 30 days annual leave from the Labour Party. I seem to recall that I was off on holiday for a fortnight in the Summer of 1998. I confirm that in addition to that annual leave, I was also entitled to take off 20 days as time in lieu in respect of overtime that I had carried out. I did not claim any financial remuneration for that but rather took the time off. That period allowed me to concentrate on certain policies which I was working on for John Maxton. I should also say that I was entitled to holiday leave as part of my contract with John Maxton. I did not really use that until the Spring of 1999 as I knew that I would be busy at the time of the Scottish Parliament election and I would perhaps need some time then.

I confirm that my position in relation to the allegations made is that I satisfied my contract with John Maxton and also my contract with the Labour Party at all times and carried out all that was expected of me in respect of both.

(Attached to Mr John Maxton MP`s letter of 2 March 2000)

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