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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