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

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 farm until January 2016, but urged the SNP to take Stoddart's case as a clear sign that tenant farmers in Scotland need better legal protections. Johnstone called on the Scottish Government to consider support a tenant farmers' right to buy in future regulation.

Alison Johnstone supported Andrew Stoddart's campaign with Land Reform campaigner and Scottish Green MSP candidate for Lothian, Andy Wightman.

Alison 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 support secure the rights of people like Andrew in the future."