The Scottish Crofting Federation (SCF) has called on the Cabinet Secretary for crofting, Fergus Ewing, to halt the waste of public money and to oust the Crofting Commission Convener, Colin Kennedy, following his stated intention to stay.
“This dreadful humiliation of crofting regulation and complete waste of public money has got to stop”, said Fiona Mandeville, Chair of the SCF. “In his latest statements to the media, Mr Kennedy has said that he intends to stay in place as Convener of the Crofting Commission.
"He still refutes any wrongdoing and claims to have operated within the law, despite the fact that lawyers and the Cabinet Secretary for crofting, who is himself from a legal background, have said he is wrong. That is some arrogance.
“To top this”, Ms Mandeville continued, “Mr Kennedy said on the BBC that he had no knowledge of the fact that his fellow Commissioners have no confidence in him. He must be the only person in Scotland who hasn’t heard that last week the Commissioners unanimously agreed that Mr Kennedy should stand down, following his petulant abandonment of their board meeting.
"This joins the widespread calls from the SCF, crofters and politicians for Mr Kennedy to go. He's now a laughing stock if it weren't so serious a situation. He is a lonely figure with his head stuck firmly in the sand.
“How much is this whole affair costing the public purse?” Ms Mandeville continued, “The resources being used trying to clean up after Mr Kennedy’s bungling must be astronomical. We have the existential crisis of Brexit staring us in the face and the fundamental weaknesses in the whole regulatory framework, yet a phenomenal amount of everyone’s time and energy is being expended on this one deluded despot.
“The Cabinet Secretary must end this farce and restore some normality in crofting by demanding Mr Kennedy’s resignation forthwith. It is within his power to do so. Mr Ewing has the support of the Crofting Commissioners, the public, MSPs and the First Minister.
"If it just takes all the parties to formally give their support, we urge them to make this clear. Crofting is too important to the Highlands and Islands to let this man run rough-shod over the lives of decent people any longer.”