Select Committee on Standards and Privileges Second Report

Annex 210

Letter to the Rt Hon Donald Dewar MP MSP from the Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards

You may be aware that I am currently investigating allegations that for some period some staff who were employed on Westminster allowances by Dr Reid and Mr Maxton were deployed on the Labour Party`s campaign for the Scottish Parliament.

I understand that during the campaign one of the researchers was anxious that these arrangements might come to the attention of the media and informed several colleagues and Mr John Rafferty. I understand that Mr Rafferty reported this in detail to you.

I would be grateful for any information that you can give me to help me with this inquiry in particular perhaps you would answer the following questions;

1.  Did Mr Rafferty pass on to you at any time his concerns that some researchers paid in part from Westminster salaries were being used full-time on the Labour Party campaign for the Scottish Parliament?

2.  If so, please would you give me details of the conversation, what he reported to you and what your instructions to him were.

3.  Did you follow up this conversation in any way either with those employing these staff or with the staff themselves?

4.  Have you held discussions on this issue with any other people at any time? If so, please would you give me details of dates, those involved and what was discussed.

5.  Please would you give me any other information which might shed light on these allegations so that I may take a view on them and report accurately to the Standards and Privileges Committee.

May I thank you in advance for your help on this matter.

20 April 2000

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