Response submitted by Mr John Maxton MP
The Objectivity of the Witnesses
During our submissions to the Commissioner John Reid
and I both rightly raised questions about the objectivity of the
four witnesses who gave evidence that appeared to contradict our
own and seemed to be evidence in support of Mr Nelson`s allegations.
We also stated that Mr Nelson was not the most reliable journalist
given the way he entrapped John Reid`s son during the "Lobbygate"
Dr Reid presented considerable evidence on this as
he was much more directly involved than I was in the affairs of
the Labour Party both then and now. He will, I am sure, present
further evidence to show that the Commissioner should have at
least accepted the evidence of her four witnesses with some healthy
I will limit myself to a few comments. As I have
shown above Mr Rowley is the only witness whose evidence appears
to contradict mine on the complaint made by Mr Nelson. The budget
documents on which miss Filkin places such weight were produced
by him the day after he had failed to obtain the nomination in
Central Fife, his home constituency. Yet Miss Filkin accepts his
word that he was a loyal Party member who was seeking to be a
In paragraph 149 of the draft memorandum Miss Filkin
states "these allegations were introduced by Dr Reid and
Mr Maxton only in their main responses to the complaint in other
words after they had been informed by me of the evidence in conflict
with their accounts given by the witnesses concerned."
However until I received the evidence to which Miss
Filkin refers I had no idea who the witnesses were in this matter.
As my lengthy correspondence with the Commissioner shows I asked
for such information but was never given it. It would therefore
have been impossible for me to comment on the veracity or otherwise
of the witnesses. Miss Filkin`s observations again illustrate
her lack of objectivity in this matter.
This is shown again in the way in which she dealt
with allegations made by Dr Reid and myself about the trustworthiness
of the witnesses given the manner in which they had left the employment
of the Labour Party. She simply approached each of them, told
them of the allegations and then without apparent any questions
accepted their explanation of events.
This is in stark contrast to the way in which she
had pursued relentlessly, indeed obsessively, any evidence that
supported their evidence against us. The Committee will note that
she made no effort to contract the Labour Party either in Scotland
or within the UK to establish the truth or otherwise of these
allegations. She includes in the relationship that most MPs have
with their employees such written evidence would not be the norm.
The lack of objectivity that Miss Filkin has shown
throughout this enquiry is nowhere better illustrated than in