Letter to Mr John Rowan from the Parliamentary
Commissioner for Standards
You kindly answered some questions from me on the
telephone in May of this year relating to a report published by
the Standards and Privileges Committee of the House of Commons
into complaints against Mr John Maxton and a further complaint
lodged by Mr Dean Nelson alleging that the evidence provided to
the Committee during that enquiry by Mr Maxton was misleading.
The original complaint was that Mr Maxton "had
misled the Fees Office and abused public money by using Westminster
allowances to pay full-time campaigners in Labour's Scottish Parliament
I explained to you that, as Mr Maxton had retired
from Parliament, I did not know whether the Standards and Privileges
Committee would wish to pursue the matter but if they decided
to do so, I would contact you again.
The Standards and Privileges Committee met on 18th
July 2001 and decided that I should pursue my preliminary enquiries
into these matters and I am therefore writing to you for your
I understand that you were a member of staff in the
offices of the Scottish Labour Party in 1999 and that you therefore
may have information about the employment of other staff at that
I would be grateful if you would let me know the
1. The dates when you were employed by the Scottish
2. The information of which you were aware at
any time, about the employment arrangements relating to Ms S Hilliard,
Mr C Winslow, Mr Jamie Maxton and Mr Kevin Reid
3. Whether you knew of any arrangement between
Mr John Maxton and the Labour Party to use, for Party work, staff
employed on House of Commons salaries during time paid for by
the House of Commons. If so, please give the details of which
you were aware and by whom you were informed of these details.
4. What you know of the letter sent by Mr Maxton
to Ms Quinn dated 10 November 1999, including to whom was it circulated,
whether there was any covering letter, and what staffing resources,
as referred to in this letter, Mr Maxton had provided over the
past years to the Party and on what basis (copy attached).
5. You told me that, having read newspaper articles
following the publication of the Committee's report on the complaints
against Mr Maxton, you felt Mr Alex Rowley had been unfairly treated.
Please would you set out these concerns as they relate to the
complaints against Mr John Maxton?
6. Any other information related to these matters
and in particular the correspondence between Ms Quinn and Mr Maxton,
which will give me a full and accurate account.
If you prefer to discuss these matters in person
I would be grateful if you would telephone my office to arrange
a convenient time for us to talk on the telephone or meet. I must
ask you not to discuss this letter or your reply with any other
May I thank you in advance for your assistance.
23 July 2001