Ruth Davidson turns down lobbying job after backlash

Former Scottish Conservative leader Ruth Davidson will no longer take up a controversial post with a lobbying firm.

The MSP was to be appointed senior adviser to PR firm Tulchan Communications, for which she would have been paid £50,000 for 25 days’ work a year on top of her MSP salary of £63,579.

After calls from opposition politicians to choose between the post and her political role, she said she and the firm have “agreed not to proceed with the appointment”.

Ms Davidson said: “The debate in Scotland about my taking an advisory role with Tulchan Communications has become increasingly contentious.

“I, and Tulchan, have therefore agreed not to proceed with the appointment.”

She added: “I saw this role as an opportunity to help businesses improve their offerings to staff, raise standards in the supply chain, increase diversity and embrace environmental responsibilities.

“I sat down with Scottish Parliamentary officials in advance to go through the code of conduct, in detail, in order to avoid any conflict and to ensure I would be working within the rules at all times. The role reflected this.

“The consensus view from political opponents and commentators is that working to improve businesses’ understanding of the cares and concerns of people is somehow incompatible with my role as an MSP.

“So if I am asked to choose between Holyrood and this role, then I choose the Parliament I have dedicated the last nine years to, eight as party leader, a decision Tulchan supports. ”

She said Tulchan Communications had behaved with “utmost integrity” and she is “sorry not to be working with them at this time”.

Senior partner with the firm, Andrew Grant, said: “We share Ruth’s decision not to proceed with her role with us.

“It is a great shame as we believe that she would have encouraged business to be bolder in addressing the issues of concern to their stakeholders.”

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