Call to reveal papers
Davidson facing calls to publish advice on PR role
Ruth Davidson: ‘ensured there was no conflict’ (pic: Terry Murden)
UPDATE 28 Oct: Former Scottish Tory leader Ruth Davidson was today urged to resign as an MSP to avoid a conflict of interest with her new role as an adviser to a PR company.
The demand from George McGregor, co-chairman of the UK Public Affairs Board, followed calls for her to publish the parliamentary advice she received before accepting the £50,000 a year part-time appointment with Tulchan Communications in London.
Ms Davidson will continue to draw her £63,000-plus salary as an MSP for Edinburgh Central.
Mr McGregor said: “Ruth Davidson should stand down as an MSP if she wants to join the ranks of the public affairs industry”.
He added: “The rules are there for a reason: to avoid any conflicts of interest both in perception and reality.”
SNP MSP Gordon MacDonald said: “There’s now immense pressure on Ruth Davidson to resign as an MSP – questions over her new £50k-a-year-role with a lobbying firm will continue to grow until she does the right thing and quits Holyrood.
“These latest comments, coming from the chair of an industry body, are an utterly damning indictment of her position, which is now completely untenable.”
Ms Davidson claimed she sought and gained clearance from the parliamentary authorities prior to taking up her second job which is for just 24 days a year.
Labour MSP Neil Findlay, who has introduced a bill that seeks to ban MSPs from having second jobs, said: “Ruth Davidson claims she sought the advice of the Scottish Parliamentary authorities before accepting this highly paid job as a lobbyist.
“In the interest of openness and transparency she should publish all communications between her and the Parliamentary authorities who gave her advice.
“If it is true that Davidson was given the green light to take this job, then clearly the rules are not fit for purpose. That’s why I am introducing a bill to the Scottish Parliament that would restrict MSPs’ second jobs and lucrative outside earnings.”
Ms Davidson said she “sat with parliament’s standards clerks to make sure there was no conflict”.