Select Committee on Standards and Privileges Second Report

Annex 141

E-mail correspondence between Mr Alex Rowley and the Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards

To:Alex Rowley
From:The Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards
Date:21 June 2000 16:49
Subject:Letter from PCS

Attached is letter from Elizabeth Filkin. Please telephone her.

(File attached: Letter to Alex Rowley, 21 June 2000)

To:The Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards
From:Alex Rowley
Date:22 June 2000 11:26

I refer to your e­mail and letter dated 21 June 2000.

The first point to make is that I was not sacked by the Labour Party. It is true that Margaret McDonagh, the UK General Secretary, made clear to me on the day of the Scottish Elections that she believed things had not worked out for me or the Party and that she wanted me to leave the post of Scottish General Secretary. She said that I could be given another job either in the employment of the Labour Party or in the private sector. It was suggested to me by Jonathan Upton and John Reid when he was appointed Secretary of State for Scotland that I could take on the role of being in charge of local government and trade union relations for the Scottish Party. During the weeks of discussion which took place I continued to have the support of senior politicians including the First Minister and Chancellor.

However, after much thought I concluded that it was difficult for me to continue in the role I was doing without the support of the person who was ultimately in charge of Party management. I did not accept the offer of a job elsewhere as I felt my hands would be tied and I was no ones puppet. I therefor negotiated a leaving package with Jonathan Upton and tendered my resignation to Margaret McDonagh, I then had a meeting with all the Scottish Staff and explained that I had decided to resign my position and made clear my absolute loyalty and commitment to the Labour Party.

I say this because the inference from John Maxton would seem to be that I am somehow being disloyal because of the circumstances surrounding my departure from the Party. This is simply not the case, I am clear I was not the source of the accusations you are investigating, but I took the decision early on not to lie about these.

I would also make clear that I do not trust or respect John Rafferty and have never at any time spoke to him about this matter. Mr Rafferty was as I understand it sacked as Chief of Staff to the First Minister by the First Minister because he had lost confidence in him, a conclusion I had reached a long time before.

With regard to Willie Sullivan, he is a personal friend and his contract was not renewed by the Party. Willie has told me that he was interviewed by yourself. My view is that Willie was not in a position to know that much about this whole thing and I certainly never discussed other members of staff and their contract arrangements with him. I hope this clarifies the questions you raised

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