The Scottish Parliament has mothballed its controversial plans to
The Parliament's standards committee was due to finalise the regulations
when it met on 12 September.
But the decision was shelved at the eleventh hour amid fears the plans
could be in contravention of the European Convention on Human Rights,
relating to privacy and freedom of expression.
These fears were highlighted in written evidence from dozens of public
affairs consultancies and representatives, including the PRCA public
affairs committee and the Association of Professional Political
Lobbyists also said that as the proposals only apply to PA consultancies
and not in-house practitioners or trade associations' government
relations staff it would create an unfair, two-tier lobbying system.
Civil servants are now producing a further paper aimed at fully
addressing the legality and workability of the plans. It is expected to
be presented to the committee on 24 October.
The delay has angered leading MSPs, who are eager to see tough laws in
place to ensure there is not a repeat of the 1999 Beattie Media
Beattie Media was accused in an Observer sting of peddling access to
MSPs when pitching for business.
Speaking at the committee meeting, MSP Mike Rumbles said members will
not be swayed from putting in place the regulations, which include
forcing commercial lobbyists to disclose details of clients, budgets and
PRCA public affairs committee chairman Simon Nayyer said: 'The committee
must satisfy itself that it is not trying to put forward something that
is discriminatory and may contravene the European Convention of Human