Neil Findlay lodges motion calling for Ruth Davidson to stand down from SPCB
Labour MSP Neil Findlay has lodged a motion in Scottish Parliament calling for Ruth Davidson’s resignation from the Scottish Parliament Corporate Body (SPCB), after reports she has taken a £50,000 salary job with a London-based lobbying company.
The motion, lodged on Thursday and titled “Being a Corporate Lobbyist and SPCB Member are Incompatible”, notes the former Scottish Conservatives leader has taken up a job with Tulchan Communications, “on a reported salary of £50,000 for just 24 days a year, which it believes is a full-time equivalent pay of £500,000 per annum”.
It asks parliament to consider “that lobbyists are employed to use their political influence and knowledge to further the business opportunities of their clients and that having such a paid role is completely incompatible with being a member of the SPCB”.
The motion calls for Davidson “to stand down from the SPCB and consider her position as an elected Member of the Scottish Parliament, and considers that this case is evidence of the need for reform of the rules around MSPs holding second jobs”.
Davidson was appointed to the SPCB in September, when the parliament returned from its summer recess, replacing Jackson Carlaw who resigned from the body. Her portfolio covers governance, which includes incorporating officeholders, legal services, internal audit, business continuity and procurement.
The SPCB’s remit is to consider and make decisions on issues to do with the running of the Scottish Parliament, including financing and allocation of the budget, staffing, accommodation and the use and security of Holyrood facilities.
A Scottish Conservatives spokesperson told Holyrood: “Ruth's business advisory role is well within all parliamentary and industry rules.
“It is far less onerous than the party leadership she held for eight years, and she is able to complete the 16 hours a month it requires while still having more time for her family and constituency. Ruth is committed to seeing out her term as the MSP for Edinburgh Central.”
Announcing Davidson's appointment to Tulchan, the agency said she would be brought on as a senior advisor, "and she will be instrumental to Tulchan’s efforts in helping boards to navigate a continually evolving public and corporate landscape".
In a statement on Tulchan's website, Davidson said: “I am very excited to be joining Tulchan at such a critical time for UK PLC.
“I believe the evolution of Tulchan’s mission statement towards creating stakeholder value is prescient. Political and economic uncertainty persists and the scope for shocks is high. As a result, businesses must continue to renew their licence to operate with their stakeholders and reflect on what is expected of them or risk being targeted by anti-business vested interests and losing public faith.”