Select Committee on Standards and Privileges Second Report

Transcription of the tape of an interview with Mr Chris Winslow held on Friday 7 April 2000

(Mr Neil Gillay in attendance as a friend)

  Ms Filkin: Thank you very much indeed, Mr Winslow, for coming to see me. I have asked you to come to see me to clarify the statement which you made to me when you wrote to me. What I have to say to you is that we are now involved in a proceeding of Parliament. Giving evidence to me is part of a proceeding in Parliament, so I have to rely on you to tell me the truth in the way I am sure you would tell Parliament the truth because that is the basis on which this interview is taking place. Could we start off by you clarifying for me in detail your contractual arrangements with Mr Maxton and with the Labour Party? When were you actually employed by them and for what were you employed and for how many hours in each case?

  Mr Winslow: These are the same details which were in the statement with one small change. In my statement I put that I began work with the Labour Party on 13 or 14 and it was actually 15 June 1998. I began work for Mr Maxton on 1 June 1998. Both these contracts were part time. I do not have currently a copy of my contract with Mr Maxton; that has long been despatched to the bin, so I do not know the exact wording. The assumption I proceeded on and Mr Maxton proceeded on was that it would be a part-time contract around about 20 hours a week. The initial contract with the Labour Party was up to 15 hours a week and there was a variation in this contract allowing me to work up to 30 hours a week for the Labour Party.

  Ms Filkin: That variation was made on 3 November, if I am right. Is that right?

  Mr Winslow: Yes.

  Ms Filkin: By 3 November you were working about 30 hours a week for the Labour Party. What were you doing for Mr Maxton from 3 November?

  Mr Winslow: No different. There was never any variation.

  Ms Filkin: So you were still doing 20 hours for Mr Maxton.

  Mr Winslow: Yes.

  Ms Filkin: How long did you go on doing both of those latter contracts?

  Mr Winslow: The 30 hours for the Labour Party and the 15 and the 20 hours for John Maxton, those two?

  Ms Filkin: Yes.

  Mr Winslow: From 3 November when did they finish?

  Ms Filkin: Yes.

  Mr Winslow: John Maxton's contract finished at the beginning of June 1999 and I had a fixed term contract with the Labour Party which ended on 30 June. There was a period of notice and so on attached to that.

  Ms Filkin: To the Labour Party contract?

  Mr Winslow: Yes.

  Ms Filkin: Before the 30th.

  Mr Winslow: It was clear before the 30th that I would be moving jobs.

  Ms Filkin: Yes, explain that to me.

  Mr Winslow: The contract just expired on 30 June although it was clear that I would be going to a different job round about that time. The contract had a fixed life.

  Ms Filkin: Throughout the period from 3 November to 30 June approximately you were working 30 hours for the Labour Party and 20 hours for Mr Maxton.

  Mr Winslow: As a minimum, as a baseline.

  Ms Filkin: What was the reason for that change?

  Mr Winslow: In the Labour Party contract?

  Ms Filkin: Yes.

  Mr Winslow: There were two reasons. The first reason would be that round about that time, the Labour Party was looking to step up its efforts. They were only 6 or 7 months away from a very important period for the Labour Party. The second reason was as a recognition of what I had already done for the Labour Party. I was taking on additional responsibilities, additional hours and I was receiving additional monies for that.

  Ms Filkin: I have been told by other witnesses that the reason for the change in those contracts was not that. I have been told that the reason for the change in those contracts was because of publicity in the press about the Conservative Party using people who were employed on research salaries in Westminster and their constituencies to do work for their party and that numbers of people in the Labour Party were very concerned about that. Do you know about that?

  Mr Winslow: I do not know who has made this suggestion. It is certainly not true. The logic of it suggests that had it been true, then I would no longer have worked for Mr Maxton. I continued to work for Mr Maxton throughout the period because there was absolutely nothing remiss with the situation. Just to clarify, I do not understand what the variation in my contract would do to detract from the argument you have just presented.

  Ms Filkin: Could I ask you again quite specifically: did you hear any conversation or any worry of that kind about those contracts and how they were being used at any time during that period running up to November 1998?

  Mr Winslow: Absolutely not with regard to myself at all. My changing of the Labour Party contract was to give me additional responsibilities and additional reward. It was totally separate from the work I was doing for Mr Maxton.

  Ms Filkin: I have evidence from several people who were party to a conference call in which you were involved, in which you personally raised the issue of your concerns about this matter.

  Mr Winslow: I think the fact that we were .  .  . If it is the conference call which I recall—

  Ms Filkin: Yes. So you do recall a conference call.

  Mr Winslow:—we discussed difficulties which could arise from various misrepresentations of what had gone on. The very fact that we are progressing down the route of a formal inquiry shows that people, who want for whatever reason to allege that there are difficulties, could do so.

  Ms Filkin: Let me clear. You are telling me that you recall the conference call. Can you recall exactly what worries you raised at that conference call?

  Mr Winslow: I am speculating. There has been a number of conference calls over the period. I am absolutely speculating on which conference call. There is only one conference call where I think anything of concern was being discussed.

  Ms Filkin: When was that?

  Mr Winslow: It would have been around the time that a set of allegations was going to appear regarding Kevin Reid, which I knew about.

  Ms Filkin: What did you say?

  Mr Winslow: I have no recollection, other than the fact that I felt that the situation I was in could be used mischievously.

  Ms Filkin: You do realise that already you have contradicted yourself to me, do you?

  Mr Winslow: No.

  Ms Filkin: I asked you whether this matter of concern had ever been raised and you said no. You have now gone on to tell me that indeed you were involved in a conference call in which it was raised.

  Mr Winslow: No, as I understand the question as you put it, you asked me whether at the time of my variation of my contract in November 1998 the reason for the variation of the contract was to do with stories which you said were appearing, or concerns and so on and I was telling you that was not true.

  Ms Filkin: But as I understand it, this conference call was before that day.

  Mr Winslow: Absolutely not.

  Ms Filkin: When was the conference call in relation to that day?

  Mr Winslow: Possibly a year after.

  Ms Filkin: I see. Let us go on with the conference call then. You raised it in the way in which you have described. Did you take any action other than raising it in the conference call?

  Mr Winslow: None.

  Ms Filkin: Did anybody have any discussion with you after you had raised it?

  Mr Winslow: Absolutely not. It was genuinely felt at the time and currently that because there is no wrongdoing, there is no substance, that anything would just be opinion.

  Ms Filkin: You were particularly concerned about it.

  Mr Winslow: No; absolutely not. It was a very minor issue.

  Ms Filkin: I have to tell you that is at variance with other people who were involved in that conference call. That is not what they recall and I need to say that to you in case you want to alter what you have said to me.

  Mr Winslow: No; absolutely.

  Ms Filkin: Do you have any information about other people being told about that conference call subsequently?

  Mr Winslow: No.

  Ms Filkin: Was Mr Maxton told?

  Mr Winslow: No.

  Ms Filkin: Were any other people working for the Labour Party told?

  Mr Winslow: No, would be my knowledge of the situation.

  Ms Filkin: No-one who was involved in that conference call told you subsequently that they had reported it to anybody?

  Mr Winslow: No.

  Ms Filkin: When the time came for your contract to be altered in the November that we have talked about, with whom did you discuss that change in contract?

  Mr Winslow: I was told by Alex Rowley who is the General Secretary that a contract would be offered and I would have extra hours and additional money. As I recall the conversation, it was essentially about the fact that I had done well and they could afford additional money to be paid for the work I did for the Labour Party.

  Ms Filkin: Did you discuss that new contract with anybody else?

  Mr Winslow: I will have mentioned to people the fact, I was delighted when I went home that day, that I effectively was going to receive twice what I had previously received from the Labour Party, so yes, absolutely.

  Ms Filkin: Who did you talk to about it in the Labour Party?

  Mr Winslow: I could not give you an exhaustive list of people.

  Ms Filkin: Did you discuss the reasons why it had been increased with anybody?

  Mr Winslow: To go back to the original assumption, Alex told me that I had done well.

  Ms Filkin: There was no other reason given by him.

  Mr Winslow: No; absolutely not. He may have made a point that additional money was available, so that money could be given, but aside from that nothing.

  Ms Filkin: Was it ever discussed with you about making sure that your salary was in parity with Kevin Reid's?

  Mr Winslow: No. I do not know what Kevin got. I know broadly what he earned, but I could not tell you the detail. Although I would not be surprised if there were, as you describe, some sort of parity, because we were of similar experience.

  Ms Filkin: But that was never discussed with you.

  Mr Winslow: I have no recollection of anybody saying to me that I was going to get the same as Kevin was getting.

  Ms Filkin: I have had it put to me by some witnesses that Dr Reid, who was concerned by the lack of resources for the Labour Party's campaign, offered Kevin Reid to help work on the campaign. What do you know about this?

  Mr Winslow: Nothing other than I have read the alleged account of such a conversation in the Observer newspaper. I know nothing beyond that.

  Ms Filkin: If you would not mind, would you talk me through how you carried out your obligations as Mr Maxton's research assistant? Obviously to begin with you were working part time up to around 20 hours and you continued to do that even after your contract with the Labour Party had doubled. Could you talk me through how you were able to do that?

  Mr Winslow: The contracted hours, 50 hours, were not a particularly onerous number of hours to be required to work in a given week. In terms of being able to manage the time, there was plenty of time available to satisfy both employers and both contracts. With regard to the work which was set by Mr Maxton, we would meet, we would speak and discuss programmes of work which we thought would fall into the broad range of 20 hours a week and these would be in addition to particular pieces of work which we were given which were short term, day-to-day things which I did every day for him. I did this work for Mr Maxton both from Labour Party premises and from my own house.

  Ms Filkin: So throughout the campaign, did you manage to do 20 hours a week for Mr Maxton every week in the campaign?

  Mr Winslow: In terms of the campaign, I am not sure what you are meaning by "the campaign".

  Ms Filkin: On the runup to the election.

  Mr Winslow: The six weeks short campaign?

  Ms Filkin: Or two or three months before that, the period of time when people were working flat out on the campaign.

  Mr Winslow: There was no week where I did no work for Mr Maxton. There were clearly some weeks where I was able to more work for Mr Maxton and there were other weeks where there were fewer opportunities to do that work.

  Ms Filkin: How many weeks were there fewer opportunities.

  Mr Winslow: A few.

  Ms Filkin: How many?

  Mr Winslow: Three maybe; four.

  Ms Filkin: In those three or four weeks?

  Mr Winslow: Ten hours perhaps. If I could explain, one of the things I did for Mr Maxton was to go through the press and the papers and I did that every day, seven days a week. That never altered and that was not in any way part of my job, my responsibilities for the Labour Party.

  Ms Filkin: Did you use those press cuttings in your Labour Party role as well?

  Mr Winslow: How do you mean?

  Ms Filkin: If you were cutting the press.

  Mr Winslow: No, I was reading the press in detail, going through it and following things up which I thought would be of interest.

  Ms Filkin: Presumably you could use that also in your Labour Party role.

  Mr Winslow: Yes, to the extent that if you have read the papers you know what is in the papers. I was not a press person. I was not connected with media monitoring or the press office.

  Ms Filkin: You replied in your replies that you are confident that except for three or four weeks you did fulfil the 20 hours for Mr Maxton on parliamentary duties. But you have given the impression that there was no need to compartmentalise these two jobs.

  Mr Winslow: No, I have not. I would caution against that interpretation. They were very definitely compartmentalised in the sense that had I been doing an hour's press work for example for the Labour Party I am quite confident that somebody would have said that was a job which was very adequately being done elsewhere and was not part of my responsibilities.

  Ms Filkin: Let me put it another way. In any one day, did you work part of the day on each task or would you switch from one task to another during the day?

  Mr Winslow: There were no formal hours in the sense that every day I would go in and do X hours for this contract and X hours for that contract. I would manage my own time with regard to the deadlines which have been set for me and the timescales for both competing sets of work.

  Ms Filkin: During the period June 1998-June 1999 you were based in Edinburgh.

  Mr Winslow: No.

  Ms Filkin: Where were you based?

  Mr Winslow: Glasgow.

  Ms Filkin: During that time you were working for Mr Maxton and you were with the Labour Party. How as a researcher for Mr Maxton could you do that effectively from Scotland.

  Mr Winslow: I do not understand the question.

  Ms Filkin: The question is that most MPs in Westminster need their researchers to be in Westminster for at least part of the time. You were not needed in Westminster.

  Mr Winslow: No.

  Ms Filkin: You could do all the jobs which Mr Maxton wanted from Glasgow. Talk me through the sorts of things you were doing for him.

  Mr Winslow: Just to return to the question, coming to London was never an issue and it would have been impossible to exist in London on a salary of roughly £100 a week. John Maxton is a Glasgow based MP and he had work which needed to be done keeping him up to date with issues as they go on in Glasgow. The more important fact is that at the time whilst Scottish MPs are at Westminster they do need to keep in contact with Scottish politics and issues which are current in Scotland. It is very difficult for MPs to do that and during the course of that year there was an effective devolution of press coverage and most newspapers carried Scottish politics and Scottish issues. Members of Parliament need to be kept up to date with that. There are also particular issues in the sense that John Maxton stood on a slightly different manifesto from, for example, a London based Member of Parliament. There were different ways of delivering these commitments and the commitments were different for Scotland. I was very much there to do all these Scottish based pieces of work and it would have been odd to have been based in London to do essentially Scottish work.

  Ms Filkin: Thank you for telling me that. Give me a bit more flesh on the sorts of things you were doing for him during that year.

  Mr Winslow: Broadly three sets of things. The day to day things I have described, following the issues, keeping him up to date and progressing things he felt were important with regard to particular issues or with regard to particular areas of policy that he himself had an interest in. Secondly, just to be there to do what he was asking to be done in fairly tight timescales. "I need to know this piece of information about this area of policy for this purpose by this date". "I am going to do this engagement and I am worried about this issue", specific, short time limited pieces of work and very much longer term research based issues on areas he was anxious to pursue but did not have time to do the research himself.

  Ms Filkin: What were your duties for the Labour Party? Both when you were employed 15 hours and then when it went up to 30 hours?

  Mr Winslow: The duties varied absolutely throughout the year. They were not really fixed in that regard. I would work on a much more day to day basis, taking tasks, if I could manage them, from a whole variety of people in the Labour Party.

  Ms Filkin: Who gave you tasks?

  Mr Winslow: All sorts of people. Possibly over the course of the year I had as many as 20 particular individual people I would work to and respond to their requests.

  Ms Filkin: Who was your line manager? Who would have known, in broad terms at least, what you were doing and that you were actually delivering to the Labour Party what they expected?

  Mr Winslow: That itself changed over the period of the year. I would certainly say that there were several line management people but I would not say that there was any one person who would be able to say Chris was doing X work at X time for X person. It never worked like that. I would be doing a variety of things. I was trusted to be able to manage the different requests, manage my own time. People were aware that I also had a separate contract and obligations under that contract. If I were to be truthful about it, the only time where there was a strong sense of line management and task allocation and tracking and so on, would be from the period when John Rafferty came to look after the campaign. Before that I was—

  Ms Filkin: John Rafferty would know what you were doing.

  Mr Winslow: He would have the best idea. I do not think that anybody, including John Rafferty, would be able to account other than myself for individual hours worked in the Labour Party or would know about the broad number of tasks I had been doing.

  Ms Filkin: But he is the person who in your view would have the best estimate.

  Mr Winslow: Yes; absolutely.

  Ms Filkin: Anybody else?

  Mr Winslow: A number of people would have knowledge.

  Ms Filkin: There was not anybody else whom you would describe as your line manager.

  Mr Winslow: Perhaps Alex in a line management structure from the beginning but over the course of the year the amount of work that Alex gave to me was very, very small.

  Ms Filkin: How long was he in that role as far as you were concerned and when did John Rafferty assume that role as far as you were concerned?

  Mr Winslow: Just to go back to what I was originally saying, the way I was working would be to do the jobs which were being allocated.

  Ms Filkin: Of course; I understand that.

  Mr Winslow: People would say "Is that work ready, when will it be done?" and suggesting that after John Rafferty came to work for the Labour Party, which was January 1999, the bulk of that function would be carried by him. Before that it was much more diffuse.

  Ms Filkin: I have witnesses who tell me that certainly during that latter part of the campaign, from January onwards, you were indeed working full time for the Labour Party.

  Mr Winslow: No, I would not say that that was in any way a reasonable assumption or a correct statement for anyone to make. I managed my own time and I allocated my own hours to both different contracts. I had a minimum of 30 hours or maximum of 30 hours to do at that time for the Labour Party and I certainly filled those 30 hours. I may have done some extra hours here or there but I claimed these hours back in terms of time off.

  Ms Filkin: So you are sticking with your view you gave me earlier that it was only three or four weeks in which you were working flat out for the Labour Party.

  Mr Winslow: Yes, and even at that time I was not working exclusively for the Labour Party.

  Ms Filkin: But you were working less time for Mr Maxton.

  Mr Winslow: Maybe ten hours as opposed to 20 hours. Obviously there were times when I did more in a week than 20 hours a week for Mr Maxton.

  Ms Filkin: You have made it clear that you do not think that it is reasonable for people to say that you were working full time for the Labour Party other than the three or four weeks you have just talked about when you were working fewer hours for Mr Maxton than your contract. Why do you think, if that is the case, colleagues who worked closely with you should suggest that?

  Mr Winslow: I was not in any way trying to suggest that I was not in the Labour Party for 40 or 50 hours a week. I was explaining to you that I felt people did not have a proper understanding of the work I was doing and they may just have assumed that for the time I was in the Labour Party I was doing exclusively work related to my contract with the Labour Party.

  Ms Filkin: I wonder if we could now turn to a colleague of yours, Suzanne Hilliard. Did you have any understanding of the way in which her time was split between a parliamentary research role and her work for the Party?

  Mr Winslow: Suzanne is a friend of mine and I had a small understanding of that.

  Ms Filkin: Would you like to talk me through it?

  Mr Winslow: Suzanne would not appear in the Labour Party, because she did voluntary work, until the afternoon.

  Ms Filkin: Throughout that whole period.

  Mr Winslow: Absolutely.

  Ms Filkin: So she would come in in the afternoon and do voluntary work for the Labour Party. Were you aware that she was taken on on a contract at any stage.

  Mr Winslow: With?

  Ms Filkin: Any contract.

  Mr Winslow: We did discuss in a sort of friendly capacity a job offer which she had had from Dr Reid.

  Ms Filkin: How did you discuss it?

  Mr Winslow: She told me that the job was on offer and that she was inclined to take the job. My concern was that she was potentially taking on too much. She was a final year student at that time. It was that kind of conversation, "Are you sure you will be able to manage all these tasks?".

  Ms Filkin: What did you regard as "all these tasks"?

  Mr Winslow: Having a paid part-time job, continuing with voluntary work which she had been doing and studying as she moved towards her final examinations.

  Ms Filkin: What did she say in reply to your concerns on those matters?

  Mr Winslow: She accepted that there were going to be legitimate time constraints on what she could and could not do.

  Ms Filkin: What did she say about it?

  Mr Winslow: Suzanne was very committed to the voluntary work she was doing for the Labour Party and she did not want to give that up. She was also enthused by the idea of working for Dr Reid. She also had finals coming up, so she talked about each of these ...

  Ms Filkin: Did she give you any indication that it was going to be allowed for her to work on the campaign during the hours she was being paid by Dr Reid?

  Mr Winslow: I do not think that is the case; no, absolutely not.

  Ms Filkin: Did she ever mention it to you?

  Mr Winslow: No, no; absolutely not.

  Ms Filkin: She did not try to allay your fears by saying it was quite all right she was going to be able to use that part-time post to do it.

  Mr Winslow: Ultimately she deferred her studies.

  Ms Filkin: Let us now turn if we may to Kevin Reid. I have had it said to me that various people were aware that there were times when he was being paid as his father's research assistant he was actually working full-time for his father. Do you have any evidence of that?

  Mr Winslow: No.

  Ms Filkin: Did you have any evidence that anybody was concerned about the fact that he was working for his father when he was doing so many hours for the Labour Party?

  Mr Winslow: No.

  Ms Filkin: When you began working for Mr Maxton, were you aware that the House of Commons rules would forbid you from working on party political matters during the time you were contracted on the parliamentary work?

  Mr Winslow: There was a job description attached to the contract I signed.

  Ms Filkin: Would you say that rule was widely known in the headquarters of the Labour Party?

  Mr Winslow: I would think so. I would not be able to confirm whether it was or it was not, but I would think so.

  Ms Filkin: Was there any system while you were employed in these posts, any of them, for accounting for the work you did in any way, clocking on, clocking off, making a record, turning in a time sheet, producing a list of evidence at the end of the month to demonstrate what you had done on any of these jobs.

  Mr Winslow: Never for the work with Mr Maxton. The accountability in that regard was through the production of work.

  Ms Filkin: What about with the Labour Party?

  Mr Winslow: During the short campaign we would note when we were there.

  Ms Filkin: So your hours of work were recorded during those six weeks.

  Mr Winslow: I kept a note of the time that I was in.

  Ms Filkin: Who has that record?

  Mr Winslow: Given that it was my record, I think nobody. I certainly do not—

  Ms Filkin: Did you not provide it to somebody?

  Mr Winslow: We were asked at the end of the campaign—

  Ms Filkin: How many hours you had worked.

  Mr Winslow: About extra hours. I gave an indication on my own notes of what hours I thought I had done extra above my contract.

  Ms Filkin: Those were the hours which led to the bonus.

  Mr Winslow: That was the purpose of them.

  Ms Filkin: What bonus did you get?

  Mr Winslow: I do not know exactly what the bonus was: £300 or £400, something like that.

  Ms Filkin: What did that relate to in terms of extra hours for those six weeks?

  Mr Winslow: I do not know; I do not know how the bonuses were allocated.

  Ms Filkin: So there is no piece of paper which said people will be paid this amount extra per hour for the hours they work extra, would they give the hours they have worked extra. How did you know you had to keep that time sheet to put in?

  Mr Winslow: We were asked. I knew that there would be a bonus scheme and that part of the bonus ... I do not know how the bonuses were allocated but we certainly knew.

  Ms Filkin: Who told you that? How did you get to know that you had to keep a record of your hours for the Labour Party to get that bonus?

  Mr Winslow: Just office knowledge really.

  Ms Filkin: Would it have been Anne-Marie White who told you that? Who gave you the form to fill in?

  Mr Winslow: I do not recall any form which you filled in day to day as it were. I think at the end you indicated that you had done X number of hours.

  Ms Filkin: Who did you give that record to?

  Mr Winslow: I do not know. I cannot remember. It could have been anybody in the office.

  Ms Filkin: It just came in your salary cheque.

  Mr Winslow: Yes.

  Ms Filkin: Did it indicate how much of it was bonus and how much of it was ordinary salary?

  Mr Winslow: Yes. As far as I can recall. There was just money at the end of the campaign. It was not a huge sum.

  Ms Filkin: There is no problem about getting that information. It is information which is available. I was just wanting to see whether you could recall or whether you had records which would have those, tax records or anything of that nature whereby you could let me have a copy, could you?

  Mr Winslow: I do not have tax records. I can look. I may have a wage slip somewhere.

  Ms Filkin: Yes, that was what I was assuming.

  Mr Winslow: I do not know how I would check that.

  Ms Filkin: Could I ask you whether you would have a look and if you did, if you would let me have a copy? I always like to ask the person whose record it is to provide the information rather than get it from the organisation.

  Mr Winslow: You want to know my bonus payment.

  Ms Filkin: I should like to know the bonus payment and any document which you were provided with which indicated what that bonus payment related to in terms of hours.

  Mr Winslow: I am fairly confident I will not have ... I have no idea

  Ms Filkin: If you do not have either of them you can tell me. I am not in the business of trying to make people produce things they do not have. What I was out of courtesy wanting to do was to ask the person to provide it rather than having to ask the employer or whatever because it is much better that information is provided by the person, so that is why I am asking. I now need to ask you whether if the Standards and Privileges Committee called you before them, you would be prepared to say on oath that you have never worked on Labour Party business or campaigns during hours when you were paid by the Fees Office except for the three or four weeks which we have identified together today.

  Mr Winslow: Possibly without the last sentence.

  Ms Filkin: Perhaps you would like to say what you would be prepared to swear on oath.

  Mr Winslow: I did not do Labour Party work on Fees Office time.

  Ms Filkin: You have told me that for three or four weeks you probably did fewer than your contracted hours for Mr Maxton.

  Mr Winslow: Yes, but I have explained in the statement and also in what I have said, that there were weeks when I did more for Mr Maxton and there were also entitlements I had as part of my contract to take days away from work. Over the year I absolutely fulfilled these contracted terms and I am perfectly content to confirm that.

  Ms Filkin: So you will be wanting to say on oath that you have never worked on Labour Party business or campaigns during the hours you were paid by the Fees Office.

  Mr Winslow: Yes.

  Ms Filkin: Is that correct?

  Mr Winslow: That is absolutely correct.

  Ms Filkin: That is what you would wish to swear on oath if asked to. When you got my letter, with whom did you discuss it? Did you take advice on your reply?

  Mr Winslow: I have discussed this with a few people to a greater or lesser extent.

  Ms Filkin: Would you like to give me a list of those with whom you have discussed it?

  Mr Winslow: I have discussed it with my partner, with my family and I have discussed it with a lawyer in the process of obtaining advice.

  Ms Filkin: Who was the lawyer?

  Mr Winslow: His name is Gordon Dalyell.

  Ms Filkin: Could you spell the surname for me?

  Mr Winslow: D-A-L-Y-E-L-L.

  Ms Filkin: You discussed it with him and he gave you advice on the reply, did he?

  Mr Winslow: No. I had a conversation with him about the questions you had asked and we spoke.

  Ms Filkin: Who suggested you consult him?

  Mr Winslow: The broad consensus of people were saying take some advice.

  Ms Filkin: Who were the broad consensus?

  Mr Winslow: People who were asking me about the fact that a story was written in the newspaper which had my name in it and then in the following week a television interview which confirmed that there were some proceedings to go ahead. I think it was a widespread feeling that it would be good to go to speak to somebody.

  Ms Filkin: Who suggested you consult him?

  Mr Winslow: I knew from Suzanne that she and Kevin were going to go to see him. I had a conversation with Suzanne, so I phoned and asked whether I would be able to go in and speak with him also.

  Ms Filkin: Did Mr Maxton suggest that you should speak to him?

  Mr Winslow: No.

  Ms Filkin: Did Dr Reid suggest you see him?

  Mr Winslow: I have never discussed this with Dr Reid.

  Ms Filkin: Did Mr Dewar suggest you see him?

  Mr Winslow: Absolutely not.

  Ms Filkin: You are absolutely sure that Mr Maxton did not suggest you consult this lawyer?

  Mr Winslow: No. I think when I talked to him and said we are going to see Gordon Dalyell, he said it was a good idea or something like that.

  Ms Filkin: But you are saying to me that you had fixed to see him before you had any conversation with Mr Maxton about that.

  Mr Winslow: I cannot tell you that for 100% sure, but I am fairly confident that John Maxton did not say to me go and see Gordon Dalyell. He may have, but it was always my intention from that very early period to go to seek advice and that was the first thing, to go to see him.

  Ms Filkin: Was he retained by the Labour Party?

  Mr Winslow: I have no idea.

  Ms Filkin: Who has paid for him?

  Mr Winslow: I have not had a bill for payment at the moment.

  Ms Filkin: Are you assuming you are going to have a personal bill?

  Mr Winslow: I had an hour interview with him, so yes.

  Ms Filkin: You are not assuming that anybody else is picking up that tab.

  Mr Winslow: Absolutely not; no; certainly not the Labour Party.

  Ms Filkin: Anybody else?

  Mr Winslow: No.

  Ms Filkin: You told me you discussed your role in this inquiry with your partner and your family and with Kevin Reid and Suzanne Hilliard.

  Mr Winslow: No, I have not spoken to Kevin.

  Ms Filkin: With Suzanne Hilliard and with Mr Maxton. Have you discussed it with anyone else?

  Mr Winslow: In passing, but not in any detail. There is a large number of people who have said they have seen me on the front page of the newspaper just a couple of weeks ago, so people have made reference to it and I have responded.

  Ms Filkin: Did you discuss it with anybody else who worked with you at the time?

  Mr Winslow: Not beyond the extent of saying that I am going to see the Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards on this day or I have received a letter and so on.

  Ms Filkin: Have you discussed it with Alex Rowley?

  Mr Winslow: No.

  Ms Filkin: Have you discussed it with John Rafferty?

  Mr Winslow: In the same terms I am describing; I have received a letter and I am going to go type of thing.

  Ms Filkin: Have you discussed with him what was going to be said.

  Mr Winslow: No.

  Ms Filkin: Do you know of other people who have consulted Gordon Dalyell other than Suzanne Hilliard and Kevin Reid?

  Mr Winslow: I cannot confirm Kevin for definite, but my understanding is that Kevin and Suzanne have been to see him. I know Suzanne has.

  Ms Filkin: Anybody else?

  Mr Winslow: No.

  Ms Filkin: In particular, would you say you had coordinated your responses to me in any way?

  Mr Winslow: No.

  Ms Filkin: You did not compare your statement with Suzanne Hilliard's for instance before it was sent?

  Mr Winslow: No. [End of tape side 1]

  Ms Filkin: No coordination between you.

  Mr Winslow: No.

  Ms Filkin: Thank you very much indeed. I am sorry that has been rather long winded. I now need to say one further thing to you. I not only rely on you to tell me the truth, but I need to make sure and check with you that you have told me the whole truth. Is there anything else which has struck you as we have been talking that I need to know to have an absolutely clear picture to give the Standards & Privileges Committee?

  Mr Winslow: No.

  Ms Filkin: Could I then ask you that when you go away from here and think about our conversation or indeed when you see the record of it, if there is anything else which you want to say to me or if it strikes you that there is any other person who might be able to inform me, that I could ask you to let me know basically? Thank you. I am very grateful to you.

  (Agreed as correct 26 April 2000)

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