Scotland

MSP who led lobbying campaign at Holyrood seeks new profession – as a lobbyist – NewsEverything Scotland

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THE Labour MSP who led the cost towards lobbying scandals at Holyrood is hoping to search out work as a lobbyist himself, it has emerged.

Neil Findlay is on the lookout for a job in public affairs whereas touting his “glorious working relationships with the Scottish and UK media, stakeholders and politicians”.

His on-line CV now makes use of an image of him taken in a parliamentary committee room with the hashtag “#opentowork” superimposed on it.

Beneath it, the left-wing MSP says he’s open to presents as a “marketing campaign officer, public affairs advisor and communications supervisor”.

The SNP mentioned Mr Findlay’s transfer would “elevate an eyebrow or two”.

Mr Findlay, a Lothians MSP since 2011, was Jeremy Corbyn’s management marketing campaign supervisor in Scotland, and is a outstanding determine on the left of Scottish Labour.

He was the driving drive behind the general public register which data direct contacts between ministers, MSPs, officers and lobbyists.

He warned some lobbyists may “take pleasure in larger affect than others on account of having larger entry to politicians and affect over coverage and the decision-making course of”.

Now, as he prepares to face down at subsequent 12 months’s Holyrood election, Mr Findlay, 51, is promoting himself as a would-be lobbyist primarily based on his personal contacts and expertise.

On his LinkedIn web page, he states: “Having been a member of the Scottish Parliament since 2011 and a Councillor for eight years previous to that, I’ve glorious data of the workings of the Scottish Parliament and native authorities.

“I’m an skilled campaigner efficiently elevating the profile of points by means of a variety campaigning and communications strategies.

“I take pleasure in glorious working relationships with the Scottish and UK media, stakeholders and politicians throughout the political spectrum. I’ve in depth data of public affairs and the political system, sturdy analysis, communications and public talking expertise.

“I’m searching for a job in campaigning, advocacy, communications or public affairs.”

Mr Findlay by no means opposed lobbying, however warned it might undermine public belief in politics with out larger transparency.

His Lobbying Transparency Invoice of 2012 was designed to keep away from shadowy affect peddling.

Launching a session on the proposed laws, he mentioned: “I imagine that lobbying is a reputable a part of the democratic course of.

“Nonetheless I additionally imagine that lobbying ought to be extra open and clear.

“When selections are made, legal guidelines are handed and budgets determined the general public has a proper to know who’s lobbying whom and what they’re lobbying about.”

The session acknowledged: “An absence of transparency and controversies and scandals arising from lobbying exercise can, and does, undermine public confidence and belief within the political course of.

“There may be additionally growing concern that the train of affect by means of lobbying works to the benefit of highly effective vested pursuits and is carried out with out ample exterior scrutiny.

“It is extremely vital that lobbying is carried out, and seen to be carried out, to the very best moral requirements and that these concerned may be held accountable.”

Spurred into motion, the Scottish Authorities then launched its personal Invoice on the problem, which turned legislation in 2016, and the Lobbying Register went stay in 2018.

Mr Findlay introduced his intention to face down as an MSP in Could 2019 after operating his social gathering’s disastrous European election marketing campaign and stress with parliamentary colleagues.

He criticised “the everlasting inner preventing inside our social gathering and the poisonous tradition of leaks and briefings that come from some throughout the Scottish and UK parliamentary teams”.

In accordance with his register of pursuits at Holyrood, he has been engaged on organising a social enterprise referred to as SEJ Consulting since July.

His entry states: “The enterprise will search to help group teams, trades unions, NGOs, charities and many others marketing campaign and affect change at a nationwide and native stage. I can’t work for the enterprise or earn any revenue till after I go away parliament in March 2020 [sic].

“The enterprise when totally registered and established is prone to be a group curiosity firm, reinvesting surpluses after visits into group profit initiatives, discounted charges or professional bono work.

“I’m conscious I don’t must register this as I’ll obtain no revenue however within the curiosity of transparency need to voluntarily accomplish that.”

An SNP spokesperson mentioned: “The time period poacher turned gamekeeper springs to thoughts right here. In fact, all of us anticipate Mr Findlay to be the epitome of openness and transparency – though utilizing an image of himself in parliament to tout for work exterior parliament will elevate an eyebrow or two.”

Mr Findlay mentioned: “After I go away parliament, I like most different folks should work for a dwelling.

“I’ve no need to work within the industrial lobbying sector however as a substitute want to use the abilities and data I’ve to pursue causes that ship social progress on points akin to employees’ rights, social housing, well being, anti poverty initiatives and ending the medication deaths disaster.”

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