Anti migrant Tory jibes show ignorance of our island communities

Orkney is a thriving community that deserves better than Tory mockery

The Scottish Greens spokesperson for rural and island communities, Ariane Burgess, has condemned “insensitive and thoughtless” remarks by deputy chair of the Conservative Party, Lee Anderson. 

It comes as Mr Anderson has called for people seeking asylum to be sent to Orkney, which he characterised as a “remote” place with “a few outbuildings.”

Ms Burgess said: “The insensitive and thoughtless remarks by Lee Anderson underline how out of touch the Tory Westminster Government is from the needs of our islanders.

“Many island communities have already welcomed migrants with open arms, not least in Lewis and Bute, where those displaced by the Syrian Crisis have established thriving businesses, become key parts of their communities and added to the diversity and vibrancy of Island life.

“Rural communities have been crying out for more power to be devolved over migration and these latest remarks underline why. Our islands are not empty wildernesses – they’re thriving communities. 

“They are not remote places with a few outbuildings. The Orkney Islands have seen a steady growth in population over recent years and regularly appear on list of the most desirable places to live."