Letter to the Parliamentary Commissioner
for Standards from Mr John McLaren, Policy Unit, Scottish Executive
Thank you for your letter of 10 April on this subject.
I am of course happy to co-operate as fully as I can on this matter.
However, before answering your specific questions I think it would
be worthwhile outlining the general circumstances under which
I was working for the Labour over the period June 1998-May 1999.
First of all I should make it clear that at no point
in my period of employment did I have formal management responsibility
for any other member of staff. Any issues relating to employment
terms and conditions, staff appraisal or workplans were outside
my remit. Basically I worked on my own areas of interest, receiving
assistance, as required, from fellow members of staff. One of
these assistants was Chris Winslow. However, he also worked in
other areas and with other people, and I was largely unaware of
the precise details of much of this work. Over the year the amount
of time I spent working with Chris varied, although I would say
that at no time would our work account for more than 50% of his
time in the office, and often far less. In general therefore,
and I think this was the gist of you enquiry, at no point did
I think that in Chris I had a full-time employee working for me.
In response to your specific questions:
1. I was never officially Chris Winslow`s line
manager. Equally I was not aware of his employment arrangements
other than that he was employed by John Maxton. In terms of his
hours worked, I do not know what his official hours were. It would
be difficult to estimate his actual hours when we worked in Keir
Hardie House as we worked in different offices. At Delta House
he worked at least 40 hours a week, usually more, particularly
as the campaign developed and the election approached. (These
hours exclude any work done at home, which I believe was often
2. I am unaware of what the rules and regulations
are for such employment and therefore am not aware as to whether
they were being breached.
3. I am not sure what period of time you are
referring to in relation to the "campaign itself", but
I would find it difficult to expand much on the answer given to
question 1 above.
4. I have no knowledge of his employment arrangements.
5. I have no knowledge of any bonus arrangements.
6. Chris undoubtedly impressed many of his fellow
workers and politicians with the quantity and quality of his work.
However, I am not aware that his employment arrangements during
the campaign in any way affected his future employment as a special
7. I have no further information which I would
wish to add.
If you require any further information or would like
to follow up any of the points made here please contact me in
writing or by telephone.
28 April 2000