Ex-BBC Scotland news head jumps ship to lobbying firm 

John Boothman, moved after referendum and bullying controversy, begins lobbying job 

THE FORMER HEAD OF NEWS at BBC Scotland, John Boothman, has taken up a media training role with lobbying firm Charlotte Street Partners. 

Boothman, who moved out of his role over an upheld bullying case against him at the BBC, will lead a new media training group at the corporate partnership. 

The news division of BBC Scotland had numerous bust-ups during his tenure, including threats of industrial action from staff on the eve of the Scottish independence referendum.

Head Scottish organiser for the National Union of Journalists, Paul Holleran, said there would be “palpable relief” that Boothman had moved on at the time of his departure. 

Boothman, a former Labour party student chair, also faced accusations of bias from pro-independence campaigners due to his personal and family links to the Labour party. Investigative group The Ferret has followed controversies surrounding Boothman.

Charlotte Street Partners, a relatively new lobbying outfit, has handled political lobbying, public relations, and media training for a variety of corporate groups in Scotland.

Clients have included Cluff Natural Resources, First Group and Abellio. 

Last November CommonSpace reported the firm was employed by university bosses in their campaign against higher education reforms. 

High profile staff include former SNP spin doctor Kevin Pringle, ex-SNP MSP and finance spokesperson Andrew Wilson, and ex-RBS banking vice chair Sir Angus Grossart.

Commenting on the appointment, Wilson, also a co-founder of the firm, said: “This is another positive development for the firm with three people of talent bringing a truly diverse range of experience to our client offer. We are building the business carefully and recruiting talented and experienced people to offer something completely different to the market in Scotland, London and across the UK.”

Picture courtesy of Stuart Chalmers