16 March, 2017 - 14:33

It's disappointing that when I raised the issue at Question Time, the First Minister did not see the obvious conflict of interest. Andy Wightman MSP

Scottish Green MSP Andy Wightman today (16 March) challenged the First Minister after uncovering serious conflicts of interest as lobbyists from the National Farmers Union and Association of Salmon Fishery Boards have been seconded by the Scottish Government to help write policy.

Ministerial answers show that in the last year there have been 82 secondments to the Scottish Government, the vast majority of which have been from other public bodies. In 2015 there were 125 secondments.

Andy said:

"In formulating policy, governments should listen to a range of voices. The preferential treatment shown to the National Farmers Union and Association of Salmon Fishery Boards by the Scottish Government is surprising and unprecedented.

"It's disappointing that when I raised the issue at Question Time, the First Minister did not see the obvious conflict of interest. It is unacceptable to have someone who, in their day job, lobbies Scottish Ministers on behalf of vested interests, spending the rest of the week at the heart of government contributing to public policy."

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Andy writes to FM over seconded representatives of private vested interests

24 March, 2017 - 09:08

Scottish Green MSP Andy Wightman has today (24 March) written to the First Minister asking to see the assessments that were made before the Scottish Government seconded representatives of private vested interests to help write policy.

Ministerial answers to Mr Wightman show that in the last year there have been 82 secondments to the Scottish Government. In 2015 there were 125. Among the secondments are representatives from the National Farmers Union and Association of Salmon Fishery Boards.

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“Among the several causes to which the prosperity of a nation may be ascribed, the situation, conveniency [sic], and beauty of its capital are surely not the least considerable”.

These are the opening lines of the 1752 notice of public works in Edinburgh that led to the building of the New Town. In the 18th century, at the time of David Hume and Adam Smith, Edinburgh had tremendous aspirations for the city.