• The Team

    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.

     

    kirsty@newsdirect-uk.com 

    0131 297 3411

    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.

     

    cara@newsdirect-uk.com

    EILIDH CARMICHAEL - HEAD OF MONITORING

    Eilidh leads up the monitoring team. This sees Eilidh tasks with preparing newsdirect for the next thing on the political agenda. She led the preparation and coverage for the 2017 General Election and is currently planning newsdirect’s party conference attendance. During session, you’ll often find Eilidh overseeing our coverage of the Scottish Parliament’s committees and plenary sessions.

     

    Before her time at newsdirect, Eilidh undertook a two-year summer internship with Jo Swinson and graduated from the University of Edinburgh with a degree in Social Policy and Politics. Eilidh sits on the Communications Committee of the URC. In her spare time she edits a community newsletter and enjoys rewatching the West Wing.

     

    eilidh@newsdirect-uk.com

    CATRIONA MELVILLE - ACCOUNT MANAGER

    Catriona joined the newsdirect team at the end of July 2017 after graduating from the University of Glasgow with a degree in History. Catriona supports clients within the health and social care sector. Prior to becoming an Account Manager, she provided day-to-day support to newsdirect clients as our Client Services Assistant and supplied reporting on Westminster to the team.
     
    She has previously worked within the tourism sector in Edinburgh and has an administrative and marketing focused professional background. Outside of work, she enjoys spending time trying out new recipes in the kitchen, singing and working on crafting projects.

    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.

    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.

     

    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.

    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.
     

    SARAH COWIE - ACCOUNT MANAGER

    Sarah joined newsdirect as a Trainee Account Manager in January 2018 and works on the energy portfolio. Prior to joining, she worked as an IP Development assistant at Scottish Enterprise. Sarah graduated from the University of Edinburgh with a degree in International Relations in 2016.

     

    As a member of the 2050 Climate Group, she is involved in organising and participating in many of their climate-change related events. Sarah enjoys cooking veggie recipes, taking pictures and travelling.

    LIAM HAINEY - ACCOUNT MANAGER

    Liam studied Literature at the University of Glasgow, where he wrote his dissertation on the poetry of the Scottish Parliament’s Canongate Wall. He joined newsdirect in 2018, shortly after graduating with a Masters degree in Multimedia Journalism from Glasgow Caledonian University.

     

    Prior to joining newsdirect Liam worked in local government, freelance journalism and helped run a nano-brewing company. In his spare time, he enjoys board games, books and wrestling.

    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!

    AIDAN REID - ACCOUNT MANAGER

    Aidan joined newsdirect in January 2017, working within the monitoring team as a Parliamentary Reporter. He has since become an Account Manager, specialising in transport and tourism. Aidan was previously employed as an intern at a London-based health policy consultancy and has also worked as a volunteer caseworker with Citizens Advice Scotland.

     

    He developed his passion for all things Scottish politics during a master’s degree in Public Policy & Management at the University of Glasgow. Out of the office, he indulges in his twin obsessions of the music of Bruce Springsteen and Scottish football, having written dissertations on both subjects.

    LAWRIE SCOTT-MCFARLANE - PARLIAMENT TODAY EDITOR

    Lawrie is responsible for newsdirect’s Parliament Today bulletin. He has a law degree from the University of Dundee and was a campaigner during the independence referendum. He's also previously worked for Joe FitzPatrick MSP.
     

    Lawrie is interested in programming and web development. He maintains a website at lsm.scot and has built several apps on parliamentary and political issues.

     

    HENRY ANDERSON - PARLIAMENTARY REPORTER

    Henry joined newsdirect as a Parliamentary Reporter in July 2017 shortly after graduating in History and Politics at the University of Edinburgh. Originally from Leeds, the independence referendum, the subsequent general election and the EU referendum firmly redirected his interest towards politics north of the border.

     

    At university, Henry was involved in volunteering and charity projects, leading a social enterprise project that worked with young people at risk of homelessness. He has previously worked for third sector organisation Social Investment Scotland, which provides financial support for charities. When he is not summarising debates, he enjoys reading, cycling and cooking.

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