Cabinet Secretary Fergus Ewing has been accused of breaching Parliamentary rules by ‘flogging’ access to Holyrood in a silent auction organised by the Scottish Gamekeepers Association (SGA).
Lot #59 in the SGA’s annual auction, donated by Fergus Ewing MSP, is squeezed in between a week’s holiday in a cottage in Strathbraan (a well-known raptor persecution hot-spot) and an offer of a smock and half a pig. Here’s what Fergus Ewing is offering (closing date 7th May 2021):
Amusingly, one of the people who has questioned whether the Minister’s actions are appropriate is Edward Mountain MSP, a Conservative candidate who will be challenging Fergus Ewing for the Inverness and Nairn constituency in the May election.
Along with Fergus Ewing, Ed Mountain is also a long-time supporter of the SGA, and is even a “proud” SGA member (see here).
It isn’t clear who went to the press about this (although as an SGA member, Ed Mountain would certainly have had access to the silent auction lots because the auction booklet was included in the mail out of the SGA’s most recent quarterly rag) but today the Scottish Daily Mail was running a story on it:
‘That tour has not taken place’, says the SNP spokesman. No, because the auction doesn’t close until 7th May!
To be honest, there are much bigger fish to fry than this but the reason I’m blogging about it is because the SGA has been wailing quite a lot recently about how it has been ‘overlooked’ by the Scottish Parliament. In my opinion this is completely untrue – the SGA has just as much access to politicians as any other organisation, illustrated quite well by the players in this latest tale.
I plan to blog a bit more about that shortly.