Ethical lobbying firm opens in Edinburgh


A new cooperative promising an ethical approach to lobbying opens its doors in Edinburgh.

Susan Smith's photo

26th March 2014 by Susan Smith 0 Comments

Public Affairs Co-op staff

Public Affairs Co-op staff

Scotland’s first workers’ coop specialising in public affairs has launched in Edinburgh in a bid to introduce ethical standards into lobbying.

Public Affairs Co-operative Ltd promises an ethical, transparent approach to the business.

Its founder, Neil Cuthbert, believes the ongoing debate on regulation and ethical practice of public affairs agencies highlights the need for an overhaul of the industry.

“Lobbying and public affairs is still seen as some kind of dark art,” said Cuthbert.

“Despite being an industry that works to protect its clients’ reputations, it has somehow failed to protect its own. I believe that’s because it has not done enough to define its values.

“Worse, it can feel like it’s an exclusive, members-only club. Or that if you have to ask how much it costs, you probably can’t afford it. For community groups, charities and social enterprises, that can be enough of a disincentive.”

Cuthbert is joined by Ben McLeish, David Lee, Emma Beeby and Paula Paterson. In a bid to introduce transparency to the industry, it promises to publish its client list, meetings and rates.