We're a political intelligence company based in Edinburgh.
Our team of researchers keep ears and eyes on political developments as they happen, reporting back to clients when comment is made on an issue of interest.
We can save your organisation time, money and make sure you never miss an important development or an opportunity to influence.
We can offer you analysis of political developments to help you steer the right course.
We can also provide you with detailed briefing notes and research papers.
Put simply, if your request relates to political discussions, particularly those affecting Scotland, we can help. With sixteen years' experience covering the goings-on at Holyrood, we pride ourselves on delivering a quality service that meets all our clients' needs.
Oh, and we've also got a sister company in Wales, so we can offer a monitoring service for both devolved nations.
Scottish Parliament Services
Why not take a look at some of our Scottish Parliament-related services which can meet your political information needs over the session. Have a read through below, and give us a call if you want to chat.
Scottish Parliament Contact Sheet
For when you need to get in touch with MSPs or other key staff...
newsdirect maintains a comprehensive database of contact details for Scotland's elected members, officials and support staff. The MSP contact sheet includes information on all MSPs, their parliamentary and constituency/regional staff, research teams, media offices and Committee clerks. An ideal campaigning tool, the documents are ready to mail merge and formatting can be altered to meet the needs of online mailing software. We’ll be providing updates with new information over the Summer as constituency offices are set up. We also maintain contact details for Scottish MPs, local authority councillors and MEPs, get in touch to find out more.
For when you need to know who these people are...
With many experienced MSPs standing down and changes across constituencies and regions, the class of 2016 includes a number of new faces. Contact us to request your guide to the professional backgrounds of all 129 MSPs. We can provide profiles for Committee members, regional representatives or particular party spokespeople, or any other selection you might need. We can also send you more detailed biographical information including summaries of parliamentary contributions, just let us know what you are looking for.
Introduction to the New Parliament
For when you need to know more about who does what...
We can provide an introduction to the new Parliament, the new faces, key spokespeople and initial priorities to your team or board. We are currently booking these in over the Summer so get in touch for more details and dates available.
Don't see what you need here? Give us a call on 0131 557 9999 or send us an email and we can discuss.
With a dedicated Account Manager specialising in your policy area, we'll assess every Parliamentary committee meeting and debate, Business Bulletin item, Government release and Party announcement to compile a bespoke daily report focused to your needs.
Coverage of Whitehall, Westminster and European business can also be incorporated. Your report will be complied on a thoroughly researched reading brief and we pride ourselves on the human touch - we don't automate searches using keywords and we offer a helpdesk service where someone is always on hand to respond to any queries or requests. We also supplement reports with priority alerts of mentions and key announcements as they happen, a summary of FMQs, a comprehensive forward planner, committee briefings, forward work briefings, manifesto summaries and party conference announcements.
Our bespoke monitoring can be delivered in a format and frequency to suit you. Please get in touch to discuss your requirements and arrange a complimentary trial.
A general bulletin of the day's political agenda delivered to your inbox or phone, Parliament Today is designed to provide key information at a glance, including details of daily business at the Parliament, advance notice of forward business, out-and-abouts for Scottish politicians, major news stories and links to key reports and statistics. We also offer sector specific versions:
Subscribing to Parliament Today also includes access to our helpdesk service, priority alerts for major political developments and key announcements, a summary of FMQs delivered at Thursday lunchtime and a copy of the monthly forward planner. Why not sign up for a complimentary trial.
Tracking & Planning
Covering Bills, committee activity, inquiries and consultations our Scottish and Westminster trackers provide an overview of developments in an easy-to-read format including links and key upcoming dates. Our bespoke monitoring model can also be applied to a single inquiry or piece of legislation to provide updates on all activity relating to a specific area of interest including timetables and deadlines, summaries of committee meetings and debates and briefings on questions, motions and comment.
We continuously update a planner listing forthcoming policy events, launches and conferences which we send out to clients on a monthly basis, or on request, to enhance forward planning. Longer range planners can be compiled on specific topics and are ideal for identifying opportunities to speak or sponsor events, or for marketing purposes.
We have a team attending all the Scottish party conferences. See below for details...
Glasgow, 13-15 October
The SNP return to the SECC in Glasgow for their annual conference. A busy schedule of fringe meetings, conference debates and keynotes is expected. Click on the pic for booking details.
Perth, 21-23 October
A step-up in scale for the Scottish Greens this autumn as they head to one of our favourite conference venues in Perth later in October. Fringe and exhibitor bookings are now open. Click on the pic for exhibitor info.
Scottish Liberal Democrats
Dunfermline, 12 November
The Scottish LibDems gather in Dunfermline for their one-day autumn event in November. Get in touch if you would like exhibitor details sent over.
KIRSTY PEEBLES - DIRECTOR
Working between the Edinburgh office and her home in the Borders, Kirsty works closely with individual account managers to add insight and ideas to the development of client services. Current projects involve the revamping of newsdirect's political engagement training courses and a new intern scheme.
Before founding newsdirect in January 2000, Kirsty worked for five years as a media monitor and analyst at Press Data Bureau before moving into political research in 1999. A contract to set up a political monitoring service for an Edinburgh PR/PA company led to a role as head of Holyrood's Parliamentary Information Unit.
Kirsty is also involved in a number of business and public affairs networks. She is a member of the National Union of Journalists, the Centre for Scottish Public Policy and was elected President of JCI Edinburgh (Edinburgh Junior Chamber of Commerce) in 2007.
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CARLA SLOAN - DEPUTY DIRECTOR
Carla has been with newsdirect for six years and oversees the monitoring and research team. She provides strategic support to ensure deadlines are always met and clients are kept informed of the latest developments.
Formerly Senior Account Manager for the health portfolio, Carla now works on business development and client relations. She also coordinates the team’s attendance at party conferences, contributes to service design and was in charge of newsdirect’s election output in May 2015.
Carla has an honours degree in journalism and is currently studying for the Public Affairs Diploma run by the Chartered Institute of Public Relations.
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CARA MCLEAN - HEAD OF RESEARCH
Cara joined newsdirect in 2010 and for almost five years managed and developed the environment and energy portfolio. She now oversees the development and delivery of all our research services, including forward planners, legislative/consultation trackers, biographies and special bulletins.
Cara studied Politics and Economic and Social History at the University of Edinburgh, also completing a postgraduate qualification in Nationalism Studies. A keen recreational runner, she has completed seven marathons, though now prefers a more manageable 10k or half.
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EILIDH CARMICHAEL - MONITORING TEAM LEADER
Eilidh leads the public health portfolio, keeping up-to-speed on all things alcohol, drugs, tobacco, obesity and physical activity-related. Starting as an intern in the autumn of 2012, Eilidh has previously edited newsdirect’s Parliament Today publication.
Eilidh also heads up the monitoring team, overseeing newsdirect’s coverage of the Scottish Parliament’s committees and plenary sessions. If you need someone listening in live to a session for your interests or need to know what’s been said before the Official Report’s available, she’d be the ideal person to get in touch with. In addition, Eilidh is tasked with ensuring our Scottish, UK and European policy and legislation trackers are up-to-date.
Before her time at newsdirect, Eilidh undertook a two-year summer internship with a Scottish MP in their constituency office and graduated from the University of Edinburgh with a degree in Social Policy and Politics. In her spare time she volunteers with the charity Mary’s Meals and enjoys watching and rewatching the West Wing.
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ALASDAIR MCKILLOP - SENIOR ACCOUNT MANAGER
Alasdair graduated from the University of Edinburgh with a degree in History and Politics before completing a postgraduate qualification in Scottish History. He also served as an undergraduate course tutor and organised the Scottish-Irish History Group. In 2013 he contributed a chapter to an Edinburgh University Press volume on sectarianism and Scottish football.
Before joining newsdirect in summer 2013, Alasdair interned in the parliamentary office of Jackie Baillie and at a public policy think-tank based in Edinburgh. His current duties include preparing bespoke daily monitoring reports for clients and managing newsdirect’s collection of MSP biographies.
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LAURA MACLAUGHLIN - SENIOR ACCOUNT MANAGER
Laura joined newsdirect in October 2014 and currently manages our environment and energy portfolio. As well as compiling bespoke reports for clients, Laura edits our Environment and Energy Today bulletin which provides a targeted daily snapshot of policy activity in Scotland and beyond. She has also previously looked after our health and social care clients. In addition to this, Laura manages our monthly Policy Planner. Please send her details of your events and publications for inclusion.
Prior to newsdirect Laura was a researcher for FTI Consulting where she worked with clients across a range of sectors on a number of high profile transactions. She gained experience in Scottish public affairs during an internship with Barnardo's Scotland's policy team in 2012.
Laura graduated from the University of St Andrews with an honours degree in International Relations in 2012.
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LAWRIE SCOTT-MCFARLANE - ACCOUNT MANAGER
Lawrie studied law at the University of Dundee and became an active campaigner in the period leading up to the independence referendum. He also briefly worked in a policy role for an Edinburgh-based cancer charity. After graduation in 2014, he went on to work as a caseworker for Joe Fitzpatrick MSP before joining newsdirect the following year.
As well as covering the housing portfolio, Lawrie maintains the candidate spreadsheet and Twitter lists in the run-up to the 2016 Scottish Parliament elections. Outside of the office, he's interested in computer programming and tech generally.
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CALLUM MACDONALD - ACCOUNT MANAGER
Callum grew up in Edinburgh and Kirkcaldy and has a Masters degree in History from the University of Glasgow. Before joining the team, he worked as Parliamentary Liaison Assistant at Skills Development Scotland. Callum started at newsdirect in January 2016 as a parliamentary reporter and now oversees the education portfolio.
Callum has volunteered with White Ribbon Scotland, the Unity Centre, and the Homeless World Cup. His interests include reading, music, travelling, and spending time on the Isle of Iona. He supports Raith Rovers and enjoys playing football and tennis when he is not perpetually recovering from injury!
KATIE REARDON - ACCOUNT MANAGER
Joining newsdirect as a Parliamentary Reporter in September 2015, Katie oversaw the daily monitoring of Westminster business before transitioning to look after transport and tourism clients.
Originally from Bristol, Katie completed a degree in History at the University of Edinburgh, graduating in the summer of 2015. Whilst at university, she volunteered with the Multiple Sclerosis Society Edinburgh, coordinating fundraising events and social media engagement. Outside of work, Katie likes to cook for friends, travel and read.
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LOUISE WILSON - CHIEF REPORTER
Originally from Yorkshire, Louise moved to Scotland to undertake a degree at the University of Glasgow in English Language and Politics. After graduating in summer 2014, she had a brief spell working at the Commonwealth Games before beginning at newsdirect in September – just before the independence referendum!
Coming from a background in journalism, Louise started out as a parliamentary reporter – listening to and summarising committees, debates, and all other political action in between. She is currently editor of Parliament Today, newsdirect’s daily round-up and the latest political and public affairs developments in Scotland. She also edits the more business-focused Enterprise Today bulletin.
Now holding the post of Chief Reporter, Louise heads up small (but perfectly formed!) team of reporters, including training of new members of staff. Outside the office, Louise enjoys swimming, performance poetry and attending live music events.
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ANDREW MCQUILLAN - PARLIAMENTARY REPORTER
An International Relations graduate from the University of St Andrews and a soon to be graduate from The Queen’s University Belfast with a Masters in Irish Political Studies, Andrew joined the team as a parliamentary reporter focused on Westminster in June 2016.
Andrew previously worked for the Labour peer Lord Foulkes and also worked as a researcher at Hillsborough Castle in Northern Ireland. His policy interests include Northern Ireland and international affairs, particularly central and eastern Europe.
Outside the office Andrew spends his time engrossed in reading political histories and biographies, planning city breaks, watching German football and enjoying the extensive delights of Edinburgh’s bar and pub scene.
EUAN RYAN - PARLIAMENTARY REPORTER (INTERN)
Euan joined the team as a Parliamentary Reporter Intern in June 2016 after graduating from the University of Edinburgh in Business Management. He spent his final year at University working part-time with the Business School’s PR & Communications team and ski coaching at Midlothian Snowsports Centre.
His interest in politics was piqued via involvement in the UK’s new found obsession with referendums and party political campaigns, he now finds solace (and sanity) in the unbiased and objective approach taken by newsdirect.
In his spare time, Euan skis, plays guitar and complains about running.
HEATHER EMOND - ADMINISTRATOR
Heather Emond is a graduate of the University of Stirling and an MSc graduate in International Relations from the London School of Economics. She has worked in the fields of economic development and external affairs for local government in Edinburgh, assisting with a number of EU, international and telecommunications projects.
More recently, Heather was based in Northern Chile as an English Teacher as a member of a nation-wide project co-delivered by the Chilean Ministry of Education and UN Development Programme. Now she is back in Scotland working as the Administrator for newsdirect, as well as contributing to a number of international projects based in the city of Edinburgh. Her interests include travel, photography, blogging, dog-walking, speaking Spanish and running.
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