Call for more security for tenant farmers

Thursday November 26th 2015

Andrew Stoddart Tenant Farmer Field

Alison Johnstone, Scottish Green MSP for Lothian, has called on the Scottish Government to give more security to tenant farmers in the wake of the campaign to stop East Lothian farmer Andrew Stoddart from being evicted.

Johnstone welcomed the news that Andrew Stoddart has reached a settlement that will secure him compensation for his eviction and the right to stay in the house until January 2016. But Johnstone urged the SNP to take Stoddart’s case as a clear sign that tenant farmers in Scotland need better legal protections, and called on the Scottish Government to support a tenant farmers’ right to buy.

Alison Johnstone supported Andrew Stoddart’s campaign with land reform campaigner and Scottish Green MSP candidate for Lothian, Andy Wightman.

Alison Johnstone said:

“While I am relieved to hear Andrew and his family won’t be pushed into destitution by their wrongful eviction, the Scottish Government must take his case as a clear sign that they need to go further on land reform. Our legal system exists to protect people from injustices like this, and it is clear that at the moment, the law on land ownership is not working.

“It is simply unacceptable that a farmer who has made such vast improvements to this land with his hard work can be discarded on a whim, facing a stressful and uncertain future. To stop this happening to others, we need to give tenants farmers similar rights to crofters.

“I urge the SNP to listen to the growing movement demanding for radical land reform and take bold action to secure the rights of people like Andrew Stoddart in the future.”

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