Fri 1 Nov, 2019

The Scottish Greens have slammed the SNP for its lack of action on short-term lets.

The party’s parliamentary co-leader Alison Johnstone called for action at FMQs, after a Scottish Government consultation overwhelmingly endorsed the Scottish Green position to regulate short term letting through both planning and licensing reform.

This week SNP MSPs in Edinburgh signed a letter calling for urgent reform, even though they had voted with the Tories during the Planning Bill to block similar proposals from Green MSP Andy Wightman.

In her question to the First Minister, Alison Johnstone pointed to other examples of when the Scottish Government has left communities waiting.

She said: “Over the last three years the number of homes lost to short-term lets has tripled, making a home an ever more distant prospect for tens of thousands of people in Scotland. And all this during a housing crisis.

“My colleague Andy Wightman’s amendment to the Planning Bill offered a way forward around planning controls, but the SNP and Tories colluded to block it at the last minute. That was unacceptable. It was not a one-size fits all idea, it was a simple proposal on planning permission to empower councils.

“The public are demanding action. Even SNP MSPs who voted against controls just a few months ago are now demanding action. The Scottish Government cannot keep us waiting any longer."

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Former Scottish Conservative leader must quit as an MSP and force a by-election after accepting a lucrative corporate lobbying role, the Scottish Greens have said.

Davidson has recently been appointed to the Scottish Parliament’s corporate body, which oversees the workings of Parliament, but has also now taken a £50,000 job with a firm which lobbies politicians.

Commenting, Scottish Green MSP for Lothian Alison Johnstone said: “The people of Edinburgh Central elected Ruth Davidson to represent them, not use her position to earn £50,000 from lobbyists.