• 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.

  • 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.

    CATRIONA MELVILLE - CLIENT SERVICES ASSISTANT

    Catriona joined the newsdirect team at the end of July 2017 having graduated with a degree in History from the University of Glasgow earlier in the summer. In her role, Catriona supports newsdirect clients on a day-to-day basis as well as working within the monitoring team to provide clients with Westminster monitoring.

     

    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.

    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.

    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.
     

    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.

     

    LOUISE WILSON - CHIEF REPORTER

    Starting at newsdirect as a Parliamentary Reporter in September 2014 (the week of the independence referendum to be precise!), Louise now holds the post of Chief Reporter. She heads up small team of reporters, including management of the reporter intern programme.

     

    She is the Editor of Parliament Today, newsdirect's daily round-up of the latest political developments, and its sister bulletin, Enterprise Today. She has a degree in Politics & Linguistics from the University of Glasgow. Outside the office, Louise enjoys swimming, spoken word and baking.

     

    LAWRIE SCOTT-MCFARLANE - ACCOUNT MANAGER

    Lawrie is responsible for newsdirect’s housing and communities portfolio. He also manages our database of Parliamentary contact information. He has a law degree from the University of Dundee and was a campaigner during the independence referendum.

     

    Following the vote, Lawrie moved on to work for Joe Fitzpatrick MSP as a caseworker before joining newsdirect the following year. He also has previous experience in a policy role for an Edinburgh-based cancer charity. Outside of the office, Lawrie is interested in coding and technology.

     

    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!

    SARAH NIMMO - ACCOUNT MANAGER

    Sarah joined newsdirect as a Parliamentary Reporter in August 2016 having previously run a gardening business whilst continuing post-graduate studies in Social Justice, with a particular interest in the criminal justice system and health inequalities.


    Prior to horticultural endeavours, Sarah worked for the University of Edinburgh for a number of years after graduating in Law in 2012. She has worked as a Special Constable with Police Scotland and in her spare time she plays rugby for a local (and brilliant) team, and loves cooking and cycling.

     

    KATIE ARMOUR - ACCOUNT MANAGER

    Katie joined newsdirect as a Parliamentary Reporter in September 2016 having graduated in Modern History from the University of St Andrews earlier in the summer. She now manages the energy clients and produces Environment & Energy Today.

     

    After university she spent a busy summer in Colorado learning the intricacies of the American political system working for the combined campaigns of Hillary Clinton, Senator Michael Bennett and Congresswoman Diana Degette.

     

    She previously was involved with Better Together as a Youth Organiser for the Lothians and volunteered for Save the Children in Stockbridge. In her spare time Katie enjoys cooking, travelling and keeping up with current affairs.

    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.

    CONOR OAKES - ACCOUNT MANAGER

    Conor joined newsdirect in July 2017 and he works within the monitoring team. His current responsibilities include covering the health portfolio and compiling bespoke daily monitoring reports for our health clients.

     

    Following his graduation in History and Politics, Conor worked as an intern for an MP and a constituency caseworker for an MSP before joining the team. Outside the office, he enjoys bicycle touring, travelling and collecting records.

    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.

    ALAN SHARKEY - PARLIAMENTARY REPORTER

    Alan joined newsdirect as a Parliamentary Reporter in July 2017 after a brief and blessedly unsuccessful foray into local politics. Edinburgh born and Glasgow raised, he maintains a delicate neutrality regarding which coast is best.

    In his spare time, Alan enjoys cooking, board games and local community activism. He has volunteered with the charity Scottish Care & Information on Miscarriage for over a decade.

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