Holyrood Strategy Scotland

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Holyrood Strategy Scotland was a lobbying firm set up in 1998 to try to take advantage of the creation of the Scottish Parliament in 1999.

The company was dissolved on 11 January 2006.[1] However, former director Mark Whittet registered a company with the same name on 6 August 2015.


From news reports in 1998:

Holyrood Strategy was launched with aplomb at Edinburgh's New Club earlier this month by the venerable Lord Fraser of Carmyllie. Unfortunately, it had already lost one director and risks losing another from its complement of four. Michael Kelly, the erstwhile chief executive and former Lord Provost of Glasgow, said cryptically: "It was pencilled in that I was a director, but I wasn't actually a director." Anyway, Mr Kelly (alias Miles Better from his time as Lord Provost) abandoned ship because of the "perceived conflict of interest" between a lobby job and an ambition to be a member of the Scottish parliament. Mark Whittet, another director of Holyrood Strategy and a press officer at British Energy, is thought to have been contemplating a similar move, though neither he nor Holyrood Strategy nor his present employer would comment.[2]
The agency's other directors are Lord Fraser, the Conservative Party's deputy leader in the House of Lords, Charles Brodie, a Liberal Democrat councillor and director of software company Twinsoft, and Mark Whittet, executive director of news events planner MacNews, which will be integrated within Holyrood Strategy. The agency does not have any clients as yet.[3]


Mark Whittet, director; founding member of the Association for Scottish Public Affairs; former Director and Deputy Convenor of the Scottish Legal Action Group.[4] In a recent submission to the Standards Committee inquiry into lobbying, Whittet wrote the following to support his case that Scotland does not need to regulate lobbyists:

Put simply, the position in principle is that it takes two parties for there to be 'a problem' with lobbying.
If the lobbyee (eg Mps) acts fully and ethically (by not touting for bribes – already illegal; or procuring some preferment for one party or another – also already illegal) there can be no illegality or 'problem' with lobbying, or at least certainly not one caused by the lobby-er/ lobbyist.
Put logically, it is ineffectual and wasteful use of resources to prohibit men from paying for sex for women when even the Bible accepts that paid-for sex (however morally bad or undesirable some sections of society think it is) like taxes, will always be with us.
By the same analogy, it is ineffectual and wasteful use of (expensive, taxpayer- funded) resources to create an entirely unnecessary enforcement / regulatory regime which applies only to lobbyists (a comprehensive term which logic requires be widely interpreted to include any and all 'communications with MPs intended to have legislative effect, whether done collectively, corporately, private, individually, for remuneration, or not, and for payment/ benefit in kind, or not) if the rules apply to only one party (the 'lobbyist') in the 'transaction' or 'political intercourse'.'[5]

Former employees


Address: Q Court, 3 Quality Street, Edinburgh, Scotland, EH4 5BP

(registered office with Companies House, as of August 2015):


  1. Companies House, Dissolved SC187715 Holyrood Strategy (Scotland) Limited, 11 January 2006
  2. The Scotsman July 25, 1998, Saturday BUSINESS DIARY BYLINE: Louise Nevill SECTION: Pg. 25
  3. PR Week BYLINE: By SOPHIE BARKER July 17, 1998
  4. Mark Whittett, submission to the Standards Committee inquiry into lobbying
  5. Mark Whittett, submission to the Standards Committee inquiry into lobbying
  6. Kelly quits lobbying for a political career by SOPHIE BARKER PR Week UK 17-Jul-98