Former BBC editor John MacGill makes switch to GlaxoSmithKline

GlaxoSmithKline has appointed former BBC editor John MacGill to increase its influence with the Scottish Government.

Power base: John MacGill will lobby Holyrood
Power base: John MacGill will lobby Holyrood

MacGill, founder of public affairs specialist Morhamburn, took up the post of senior government relations manager at the pharma firm last month.

He will be responsible for managing the day-to-day public affairs and government relations work in Scotland.

An element of his remit will include communicating GSK’s activities at its two manufacturing sites in Scotland, which employs more than 500 people, and its research and development work.

Responsibility for all healthcare provision in Scotland is devolved, with the ruling Scottish National Party known for its fierce opposition to private sector involvement. SNP leader Alex Salmond said last year that his government had ‘eradicated the private sector’ from the NHS in Scotland.

GSK and MacGill declined to comment on the appointment.

MacGill was formerly director of Morhamburn, a public affairs consultancy he founded in 2005, which was bought by Edinburgh-based Pagoda PR in 2010.

A journalist for 17 years, MacGill worked as an editor of BBC Radio Scotland’s Good Morning Scotland for three years. He was also editor of Holyrood and The Parliament, the Scottish Parliament and European Parliament’s respective magazines.

MacGill’s lobbying career began in 2002 when he was appointed by Grayling Political Strategy to manage its Scottish office in Edinburgh.

Sources have estimated that about one third of the Scottish Government’s £30bn budget goes on healthcare.

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