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Scotland's Government, Scotland's Parliament and MSPs: How they work and how to influence them


James Drummond

Assistant Lobbying Registrar, Scottish Parliament

James has been with the Lobbying Register team since its creation following the passing of the Lobbying (Scotland) 2016 Act, and the Assistant Lobbying Registrar since September 2018.
Having been at the Scottish Parliament since 2002 and starting in the Chamber Desk dealing with Parliamentary Questions and Motions, he has went on to gain a wide range of experience working in various teams within the Chamber and Committee offices, such as Legislation, Welfare Reform, and the Parliamentary Business Team.
He also undertook a secondment to the Scottish Government between 2012 and 2014, working as Deputy Private Secretary to the Minister for Parliamentary Business, Joe FitzPatrick MSP.
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John Edward

Former Head of Office in Scotland, The European Parliament

John Edward is currently Director at Scottish Council of Independent Schools. This is an education charity which represents and supports independent schools in Scotland both domestically and internationally. In that capacity he is a member of the Curriculum for Excellence Management Board and Scottish Teachers' Pension Scheme Advisory Board.

John is a political and policy analyst with 25 years’ experience covering a wide range of policy fields in Brussels and Scotland and he has substantial experience in analysis and communication of UK and devolved parliamentary systems.  He served on the Presiding Officer’s Commission for Parliamentary Reform in 2017; and the Steel and Campbell Commissions.

John has also previously worked as Senior Campaign Spokesperson for Scotland Stronger In Europe in 2016, as Parliamentary Manager for Scottish Enterprise, and as EU Policy manager for Scotland Europa. 

Carole Ewart

Convener, Campaign for Freedom of Information in Scotland

Carole Ewart is Convener of the Campaign for Freedom of Information in Scotland and works to ensure that the enforceable right to access information in Scotland is strong and accessible. Carole is a member of the Advisory Board of ‘Uncovering the Environment: The Use of Public Access for Environmental Information’ which is a research project at Dundee University and serves on the Project Board of the Jimmy Reid Foundation, an independent ‘think tank’ for progressive policy in Scotland. Carole is a public policy and human rights consultant working primarily for the ‘not for profit’ sector

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Colin McFarlane

Director, Pagoda PR

Colin McFarlane is a Director of Pagoda PR.

He was previously with the Indigo Public Affairs team and as Account Director advised a wide variety of clients, from global blue-chip companies to SMEs and third sector organisations on their strategic relationships with members of the Scottish Parliament, Scottish Government, the media and other key stakeholders.

Ten years previously Colin held various roles in Edinburgh and London supporting MPs, MSPs and Shadow Ministers in the House of Commons, Scottish Parliament and within their respective constituencies, particularly on issues around public health and business. Colin has strong experience in building campaigns seeking to influence political change and offering insight into how to engage effectively with elected representatives.

Educated at the University of Stirling in International Politics, Colin is also the Secretary of Association for Scottish Public Affairs (ASPA).


Lynda Towers

Director of Public Law, Morton Fraser LLP

Lynda is Director of Public Law within our Litigation Division based in Edinburgh.

She has spent most of her career with the Scottish Government, advising on public law issues. She has been involved in instructing and drafting legislation and has had considerable experience in public sector litigation in courts in Scotland and across the UK. She specialised in judicial review challenges, planning and other statutory appeals and in general reparation.

Lynda spent 8 years as Solicitor to the Scottish Parliament where she advised the Presiding Officer, the Chief Executive and the Committees of the Parliament on matters of legislative competence and on wider issues of public law. Lynda has a significant breadth of understanding of public and constitutional law issues in Scotland, of related litigation and of the policy and process surrounding law and decision making.

Lynda’s areas of expertise lie in litigation and dispute resolution, public procurement and state aid, personal injury, government, local government, public sector partners, data protection and GDPR.



Andy Maciver

Director, Message Matters

With nearly 15 years in communications in banking and politics, Andy’s areas of expertise are corporate positioning, reputation management, strategic campaigns and writing.

He also has a background in branding and corporate ID renewal and is a regular contributor to political discussion on TV and radio.

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Janis McCulloch

Press and Public Affairs Officer, Scouts Scotland

Janis works for Scouts Scotland leading on public affairs and media. Janis is also the Vice Chair of the SCVO Policy Forum and is currently helping to develop a third sector manifesto for 2021.

Janis has around 15 years of experience of working in communications and campaigns. She has worked on both sides of the lobbying having spent time working for an MSP in the Scottish Parliament, running campaigns and social media for a breast cancer charity and working in a public affairs consultancy.

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Donald Anderson

Director, Playfair Scotland

Prior to setting up the company, Donald worked as Director of the PPS Scotland Office for nine and a half years, as a company with specific expertise in inward investment, government and public service issues. Donald has worked on projects with an investment value more than £4billion in recent years. His work has covered most of Scotland working in 28 of the 32 local authority areas.

Donald was a councillor for over 20 years, working extensively on delivering economic development and investment and was one of the key public sector figures who helped Edinburgh become the strongest city economy in the UK outside London. Donald helped the city’s Festivals to thrive and conceived and created Edinburgh’s Christmas Festival which brings nearly £200million into the city each year. Donald was unashamedly pro-development during his period in office.

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Lynda Gauld

Director, Baccus Consulting

Prior to establishing Baccus Consulting, Lynda was Head of External Affairs at Pfizer with responsibility for all aspects of External Affairs for Scotland and Northern Ireland. During her ten years with Pfizer, Lynda managed a number of highly successful partnership relationships and sought to identify new approaches to policy development in her field. She has obtained considerable experience in managing issues and corporate change.

Before working in the pharmaceutical sector with Pfizer, Lynda spent twenty years in the NHS as a nurse and a manager and three years as Regional Manager of the Institute of Health Services Managers (now Institute of Healthcare Managers) and has a strong working knowledge of the NHS and the public sector, its successes and challenges.


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Well organised and great speakers.

Scotland's New Lobbying Act Conference, September 2017