MSP denies crofter
Fergus Ewing has been accused of giving £10 million to crofters to help his SNP colleague Ian Blackford defend his Ross, Skye and Lochaber seat.
The claim was made after the rural economy secretary wrote to the Holyrood rural economy committee explaining that the cash had been allocated following representations from the Scottish
Crofting Federation (SCF). Mr Ewing’s letter was sent on Tuesday, hours before the civil service went into general election “purdah” – the period during which ministers and civil servants are forbidden from using public funds for political purposes.
At yesterday’s meeting of the rural economy committee, North East MSP Peter Chapman accused Mr Ewing of “rushing through” the plan “to help his Westminster leader
Ian Blackford maintain his seat in five weeks time”.
Mr Blackford faces a challenge from Lib Dem candidate Craig Harrow for Ross, Skye and Lochaber, a constituency with many crofters. Earlier, Mr Ewing explained the cash had come from convergence funding for agriculture which was announced at Holyrood last week.
The Scottish Government said the £10m was in addition to £80m already earmarked for this year.
Rural Economy Secretary Fergus Ewing