Select Committee on Standards and Privileges Second Report

Annex 27

Response of the Rt Hon Dr John Reid MP to Complaint received from the Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards dated 27 January 2000 and Questions put to Dr Reid by the Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards dated 19 May 2000


1.    The accusation against Dr Reid is to the effect his employment of Suzanne Hilliard (SH) and Kevin Reid (KR) was a sham. The accusation is not made out.

2.    SH states she worked mornings for Dr Reid in the relevant period. No witness controverts this. She was thus able to combine her voluntary work for the Labour Party and her 20 hours per week for Dr Reid. She did so. The accusation that she was in fact paid by Dr Reid to work for the Labour Party is thus demonstrated to be unsupportable. Dr Reid denies the accusation.

3.    KR worked for both Dr Reid and the Labour Party over some 5 months. Both positions were part-time. Exceeding his contracted hours for the Labour Party would not and did not prevent him from carrying out his contractual duties for Dr Reid. These duties were real and he carried them out. There is nothing in the material before the PCS that establishes the accusation or contradicts KR`s statements. The accusation is unsupportable. Dr Reid denies the accusation.

4.    Dr Reid provided in February 2000 a rebuttal to the complaint together with statements from SH and KR. He was provided with materials and a series of questions sent by the PCS on 19 May 2000. In correspondence he discovered the existence of a further note which was subsequently provided to him on 19th June 2000. Dr Reid has consistently repudiated the accusations against him with reasons as may be seen from examination of his correspondence with the PCS.

5.    The statements and materials adduced in support of the accusation contain vague, speculative, contradictory and at times odd assertions. Precise and specific support for the accusation is absent. No case to answer is demonstrated.

6.    The provenance of the accusation is a journalist, who has in the past unsuccessfully accused Kevin Reid of being in breach of the standards of the Scottish Parliament. It is unclear whether he revealed this history to the PCS. Further the journalist (as the PCS is now aware) has been the subject of criticism in the South Wales enquiry for making accusations without evidence.

7.    The individuals referred to by the journalist in support of his accusation have all left employment with the Labour Party in circumstances that do not appear to have been revealed by them to the PCS.

8.    Given the terms on which material has been provided to Dr Reid (viz. that only where conflict was revealed with his statement were transcripts provided), it is assumed that the four individuals` transcripts aside, the other eight persons named in the complaint have supported Dr Reid`s denial of the complaint. In addition it is assumed that Lesley Quinn, the current General Secretary of the Scottish Labour Party, who was present at the Scottish Labour Party at the relevant periods and familiar with SH`s and KR`s work support Dr Reid`s denial of the complaint.

previous page contents next page

House of Commons home page Parliament home page House of Lords home page search page enquiries index

© Parliamentary copyright 2000
Prepared 22 December 2000