Former Scottish Conservative leader Ruth Davidson has decided not to take on a role with a private consultancy firm following a nationwide backlash.
Ms Davidson, who stepped down as Tory leader in the summer, had been appointed as a senior adviser to Tulchan Communications.
The Edinburgh Central MSP said the issue had become “contentious”.
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Labour and the SNP had both called for her to resign as a member of the Scottish parliament had she decided to keep her position, which would have seen her being paid £50,000 per year for around 25 days’ work – on top of her MSP salary.
Ms Davidson said: “The debate in Scotland about my taking an advisory role with Tulchan Communications has become increasingly contentious.
“I, and Tulchan, have therefore agreed not to proceed with the appointment.
“I saw this role as an opportunity to help businesses improve their offerings to staff, raise standards in the supply chain, increase diversity and embrace environmental responsibilities.
“I sat down with Scottish Parliamentary officials in advance to go through the code of conduct, in detail, in order to avoid any conflict and to ensure I would be working within the rules at all times.
“The role reflected this.
“The consensus view from political opponents and commentators is that working to improve businesses’ understanding of the cares and concerns of people is somehow incompatible with my role as an MSP.
“So if I am asked to choose between Holyrood and this role, then I choose the parliament I have dedicated the last nine years to, eight as party leader, a decision Tulchan supports.
“I would like to thank Tulchan for asking me to take on the role.
“They are an advisory firm of the highest quality and they too have received their share of criticism, which this role and their intentions did not deserve.
“Throughout this process they have behaved with the utmost integrity and have shown me every support and understanding.
“I wish them continued success in the future and will be sorry not to be working with them at this time.”
Andrew Grant, senior partner at Tulchan said: “We share Ruth’s decision not proceed with her role with us.
“It is a great shame as we believe that she would have encouraged business to be bolder in addressing the issues of concern to their stakeholders.
“Scotland, and the people of Edinburgh Central are lucky to have her.”
SNP MSP Gordon MacDonald said: “If the decision not to take the job was accompanied with a nod-and-a-wink about work after 2021 then there will remain serious concerns about the ability of Ms Davidson to perform her work as a parliamentarian.
“If she is to claw back any respect at all, Ruth Davidson must publish all material and advice she has received regarding this role.
“In the interests of transparency, the public will expect answers.”
Scottish Labour MSP Neil Findlay said: “After a week of refusing to budge, Ruth Davidson has finally reflected on the widespread anger which has been expressed across the Parliament and among the public at large. This is to be welcomed. There is a clear conflict of interest in an elected representative working for a company which lobbies politicians on behalf of corporate interests.
“In accepting this job in the first place, Davidson did lasting damage to the reputation of the Scottish Parliament. She receives a generous salary from the public purse, and seeking to trouser £50,000 for just 24 days a year gives a strong impression of politicians on the make.
“If it is true that the parliamentary authorities approved Davidson’s job with a lobbying firm, then it just demonstrates that the rules are not fit for purpose. I am seeking to introduce a law which will ban MSPs from taking second jobs. I hope that this sorry saga will lead MSPs from across the political spectrum to realise that the rules need to change and to support my bill in Parliament.”