Emergency legislation still needed to stop eviction of tenant farmers

Andy Wightman MSP, Land Reform spokesperson for the Scottish Greens, today (17 Nov) challenged Scottish Ministers to act on the need for emergency legislation to stop the eviction of tenant farmers across the country.

A number of farmers face losing their homes, land and businesses due to the Supreme Court ruling in 2013 that elements of the Agricultural Holdings Act 2003 breached landlords' human rights.

Mr Wightman today used General Questions at Holyrood to highlight the fact that mediation and compensation promised by the Scottish Government has not been forthcoming, and that due to ongoing court action Parliamentary authorities attempted to restrict the line of questioning from Mr Wightman, reducing the MSP's ability hold the Government to account.

Mr Wightman, whose parliamentary motion on the subject has gained support from Green, Labour and Libdem members, then spoke outside Parliament at a rally for tenant farmers.

Andy said:

"Tenant farmers and their families are facing eviction through no fault of their own. Businesses and livelihoods are about to be lost. 

"This huge mess is made even worse by the fact that I have been warned against questioning ministers on the issues at hand. The Rural Economy Secretary's response, that the government will consider the outcome of the current court case brought by tenant farmers, does not end the uncertainty.

"We must have emergency legislation to halt evictions and we must see mediation to enable farmers and landlords to reach a settlement."


Motion lodged at Holyrood by Andy Wightman, signed by Green, Labour and Libdem MSPs