Henry McLeish suggests politicians meetings with media should be recorded

Former First Minister Henry McLeish has suggested that a record should be taken of what politicians say during meeting with the media.

The suggestion comes after accusations have been made about some politicians getting ‘too close’ to members of the media.

McLeish said: “My idea is that we now move to a position where every MSP, every MP in Scotland, cabinet ministers, shadows, first ministers, shadow leaders, should say 'look, all of these meetings we have will be on the record'.

“I think we need a cut off point though because frankly you can't have every meeting with every journalist recorded.”

He suggested that details should be kept of meetings with any executive, above editors, so people know there is a record of what is being said.

Yesterday, Alex Salmond released correspondence between himself and members of the News International corporation.

McLeish said: “In my view, Alex Salmond has done nothing improper, incriminating, illegal or irregular.

“However, like most politicians, I think he'll be slightly embarrassed to read in the cold light of day words that were penned for private eyes.

“That said, I don't think it's about accusing one party or another. The whole thing is much bigger than that.

“I've been concerned about the weakening of our democracy, the weakening of our representation and the growing power and influence of the printed press - certain aspects of it.”

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