Please put these answers together with my earlier
responses to your letters.
Mr Nelson referred in his original letter to having
tapes of interviews with many senior Labour officials and politicians
who "would confirm the truth of the arrangements described
above". In your letter to me you claim you had listened to
these tapes. None of the witnesses whose transcripts you have
sent me and upon whom what flimsy case there is rests can be described
as "senior Labour officials or politicians". Am I right
in assuming that you therefore have no evidence that contradicts
mine from anyone else? I asked whether the evidence from Ann-Marie
Whyte confirmed Mr Rowley`s version of events and conversations.
Can I assume that, as you have not included her evidence, that
she did not do so?
1. You ask if I
was aware of the rules of the House forbidding the misuse of Parliamentary
researchers for political purposes. While I am aware of the general
rules on all Parliamentary Allowances and expenses I wonder if
you could tell me to which specific rules you are referring. The
only reference you have given me is the paragraph below from the
Code of Conduct.
No improper use shall be
made of any payment or allowance made to Members for public purposes
and the administrative rules which apply to such payments and
allowances must be strictly observed.
You will note that paragraph makes no reference to
either Parliamentary researchers or to political purposes. Are
there other rules?
2. I expected him to do the work that he
was asked to do by me. When, where and how he did it was a matter
for him. That is how sensible employers work. I explained this
in my initial response and so did Mr Winslow both orally and in
writing. You also agree it in the Memorandum you sent me with
the transcripts as evidence not challenged by any witness.
3. I had no knowledge of Mr Winslow`s contract
with the Labour Party.
4. For a young intelligent, hard working
Labour Party member it would be unusual for him at a very important
time in the Party`s history not to work long hours for the Party
but he was quite capable and willing to do the work required by
5. No. I had no idea that there had been
an increase in Mr Winslow`s hours for the Labour Party.
6. I had no knowledge of Mr Winslow`s contract
with the Labour Party.
7. That is Mr Rowley`s view. Since at no
time have I ever discussed Mr Winslow`s employment by me with
Mr Rowley (indeed I do not believe I discussed anything with Mr
Rowley during the period he was employed by the Labour Party)
I have no idea how he thinks he can give a view on the matter.
Ann-Marie Whyte clearly does NOT confirm this conversation or
8. I did not know that such an arrangement
had been made, as it had no relevance to me.
9. I had no knowledge of this until I read
about it in the evidence you sent me.
10. Only Mr Winslow can answer that and he had
done so in his evidence to you. Since it took place at a time
when journalists (including Mr Nelson) had deliberately entrapped
Dr Reid`s son and then deliberately twisted remarks he had made,
everyone in public life in Scotland was very uneasy about the
way the press appeared able and willing to misinterpret the most
innocent events. Indeed I would suggest you examine in detail
that episode including the evidence presented to a Committee of
the Scottish Parliament. If you do then you might at least give
less credence to the evidence provided by Mr Nelson. He clearly
does not always have scruples when looking for a story and a good
I note that Mr Rafferty changed his version of this
conversation during the interviews he did. I would ask why he
I have spoken to Mr Dewar about this and he has no
memory of discussing this matter with Mr Rafferty. More importantly
he insists that if he had had such a conversation on such a subject
then he would have remembered it. Knowing Mr Dewar`s punctilious
regard for truth and honesty I believe him. So why did Mr Rafferty
insist he had spoken to him.
11, 12 and 13 I had no knowledge of these so-called
budget papers until you sent them to me. I did not discuss them
with any person at SLP headquarters or elsewhere. As I have already
told you I did not discuss any of this with any Labour Party officials.
14. Not at all during the year to which the inquiry
refers. Since January of this year when Dean Nelson made the unsubstantiated
allegations I have obviously spoken to Dr Reid. But this has no
relevance to your investigation.
15. I have already informed you that Mr Winslow
had 18 days holiday to take (three working weeks and 3 days) and
as he was leaving my employment I let him take his holidays then.
During that time he did continue to do some on-going work for
me despite being on leave. If he used his holidays to work very
long hours for the Labour Party then he is to be admired not criticised.
As Mr Rafferty confirms he still did work for me during that time.
It appears to me that while you have evidence that Mr Winslow
worked hard for the Labour Party you have no evidence to prove
that he did not work for me.
16. This is an insulting question. It insults
my integrity as a Member of Parliament. I had no knowledge of
any bonuses paid to Mr Winslow and the time he worked during the
election period is explained in answer to question 15.
17. Yes although I find the question very insulting.
18. Yes but since any discussions were post the
event I do not believe they have any relevance. For information
only I have discussed these matters with Dr Reid, Suzanne Hilliard
and Chris Winslow. However it is insulting that you are prepared
to believe that I or any Member of Parliament would seek to "intimidate"
witnesses which is implicit in this question and in your last
19. My version of events is not different from
Mr Rowley`s, Mr Rafferty`s, Mr McKinney and Mr Sullivan. I never
met nor discussed with any of the above my employment of Chris
Winslow. None of them suggest that I did. None of them produce
any evidence which shows that I did not employ Mr Winslow in the
way described in my letter to you of March 2 and agreed by you
in the Memorandum you sent me with the transcripts as evidence
not challenged by any witness. Since I never spoke to them I do
not know how they can tell you about the contract Mr Winslow had
Indeed I would not know Mr Sullivan if I met him.
Mr McKinney`s evidence does not mention me. While I have briefly
met Mr Rowley I am not sure I would recognise him now. I know
John Rafferty better but again I spoke very little to him during
the time he worked for the Labour Party.
Lastly I would point out that the Labour Party dismissed
three of the above and they apparently bear a grudge against Dr
Reid as a result. I appear to be the unlucky and unwitting victim
of that grudge.
You have not produced any evidence to substantiate
Mr Nelson`s allegations against me and I now again ask that you
inform the Committee immediately that you are dismissing the allegations.