Labour MSP Rhoda Grant calls for Tory apology over crofters remarks

Written by Tom Freeman on 22 November 2016 in News

Rhoda Grant accuses Scottish Conservative Peter Chapman of insulting crofters in his criticism of the land reform commission

Rhoda Grant - credit Scottish Parliament

Scottish Labour MSP Rhoda Grant has called for Scottish Conservative rural economy spokesman Peter Chapman to apologise after comments he made about the new Scottish Land Commission.

Chapman, himself a farmer, criticised the SNP's commission on land reform for having "no real farmers" involved.

“As ever with the nationalists the urban, central belt bias is stark," he said.


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“The fact of the matter is farmers have a lot of knowledge and expertise they could impart in this process. They’re the ones who know best, and who will be impacted the most by any changes ministers pursue.

“But looking at this list of appointments, there isn’t a single real farmer on here.

“You can’t call someone with two sheep and a back garden a farmer, and Scotland’s rural communities will see right through that.”

Highland and Island MSP Grant said the comments are insulting to crofters, two of which sit on the commission.

In a letter to Chapman she said: "I assume that you are inferring that crofting is not ‘real farming’ and that crofters are just playing at being farmers. I find this remark both an insult to my constituents and, personally, offensive and urge you to swiftly apologise.

"As your party spokesperson on the rural economy I would urge you to find out more about crofting, which in most cases is no different from farming, other than the land tenure."

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