Select Committee on Standards and Privileges Second Report

Annex 40

Letter to the Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards from Mr John Maxton MP

Thank you for your further letter. I do not believe that it adequately answers the points I raised with you. In particular it fails to respond to my request for your reason for believing that Mr Nelson gave you sufficient evidence to justify you beginning the very extensive inquiry you are undertaking.

However I do not wish to delay further this matter which has caused me considerable distress. I am therefore answering the limited point made by Dean Nelson in his letter against me.

I confirm that I employed Chris Winslow as a part time research assistant from May 1998-June 1999. His maximum hours of work were 20 hours a week although I was more concerned that he carried out efficiently the tasks given to him rather than sticking strictly to a certain number of hours. He worked from his home and I supplied him with a computer with Internet access and printer.

Mr Winslow also worked for the Labour Party on a part time basis during this period. His duties for me are described in the enclosed contract. I enclose a statement from Mr Winslow that I have received by e-mail. When I received the signed original I will forward it to you. As he makes clear there were occasions when Mr Winslow did work for me in the Labour Party offices. Clearly this was convenient for him, as he did not have to return to his home when one part of his work ended and another began.

I refute the allegation that Mr Winslow was working full time for the Labour Party and I was paying him to do so and I believe the enclosed evidence makes that clear. My employment of Ms Hilliard is not relevant to your investigation since it post-dates the period of Mr Nelson`s allegations.

If Mr Nelson has produced further evidence than I would wish to see it as soon as you receive it although I cannot see how anything he says can alter the statement I have laid before you.

2 March 2000

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