Sewel goes soft on land reform

10 March 1998

Sewel goes "soft" on land reform

SCOTTISH agriculture minister Lord Sewel appears to have gone soft on land reform following the countryside rally of 1 March, writes Observer in the Financial Times.

The minister, who recently launched a consultation paper on land reform, says ownership matters less than how the land is actually managed. And while reform is badly needed, most landowners do a reasonable job, including foreigners.

The column says Sewels softly-softly approach does not impress those who think Scotlands grand private estates should be cut down to size.

The Scotsman Diary reports an alleged under-the-breath remark by Sewel at the land reform conference in Scotland on Friday after his consultation paper on land reform was described by one of the panel as “manipulative”.

The minister was apparently heard to say: “B*****ks”.

The column said he did well to confine his remark as he did, after spending most of Thursday night outside the Beech Ballroom in Aberdeen waiting for a taxi, and Friday morning with several hundred farmers.

  • Financial Times 10/03/98 page 23
  • The Scotsman 10/03/98 page 17

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