Beattie Media consultants Kevin Reid, son of Scottish Secretary
John Reid, and Alex Barr are to be asked to give evidence to the
Scottish Parliament’s standards committee.
The committee met on Tuesday to discuss the terms of reference of their
inquiry into ’Beattiegate’, allegations by the Observer that Beattie
Media public affairs staff have peddled cash for access.
A special adviser will be appointed to check the diaries of ministers
named in the Observer as contacts by Beattie lobbyists Kevin Reid and
Alex Barr. The ministers mentioned included John Reid, finance minister
Jack McConnell, enterprise and lifelong learning minister Henry McLeish
and minister for children Sam Galbraith. The ministers may be asked to
give evidence in person to the committee, along with First Minister
The committee has decided to investigate whether Beattie Media has
disproportionate access to the Government and an unfair proportion of
Government and Government-backed bodies as clients.
It is hoping to hear evidence from Observer journalists as well as
Beattie staff. A formal report on its investigation should be placed
before the Scottish Parliament by November.
Meanwhile, Beattie Media has closed its two-strong public affairs
Barr, who worked for both the PR and public affairs divisions, will now
work solely on PR. Reid’s future with the company is not determined, and
he is on leave.