Meeting set to create Scottish lobbying group

Scottish lobbyists will discuss whether or not to exclude Westminster consultants from lobbying the Scottish parliament later this month, at a meeting to establish an association of lobbyists to the new Parliament.

Scottish lobbyists will discuss whether or not to exclude

Westminster consultants from lobbying the Scottish parliament later this

month, at a meeting to establish an association of lobbyists to the new

Parliament.



PS Public Affairs, the consultancy which is co-ordinating the

initiative, supports a non-statutory, self-regulating association whose

members would have to have a Scottish business address and would include

public affairs consultants but also any individual whose business

includes lobbying on a fee basis.



Struan Stevenson, director of PS, believes lobbyists who are not members

of the Scottish association should be allowed to lobby the

parliament.



But the Scottish National Party, which produced its own proposals on

lobbying in January, argues for statutory regulation of lobbyists, who

would not necessarily be restricted to Scotland, but would have to sign

a strict code of conduct, enforced by a parliamentary commissioner.



The heads of Scottish lobbying firms with headquarters in London, such

as GPC Market Access Scotland and Strategy in Scotland, have been

invited to the meeting.



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