Last week the UK Parliament’s Scottish Affairs Committee held the 5th oral evidence session of its on-going land reform inquiry. First to give evidence were Sarah-Jane Laing, Director of Policy and Parliamentary Affairs at Scottish Land and Estates (SL&E) and Nick Way, Director General of the Historic Houses Association. The second part of the session involved evidence from Stuart Adam of the Institute for Fiscal Studies and Jim Gallagher of the University of Oxford.
Mrs Laing in particular may have taken her seat anticipating some robust questioning from Committee members less than enamoured by her organisation’s initial reaction to the announcement of their inquiry. SL&E had previously stated that the inquiry was unnecessary and unwarranted and mistakenly assumed that an accompanying briefing paper (432:50), which they labelled unreasonable and unhelpful, was unsolicited. The paper – written by James Hunter, Peter Peacock, Andy Wightman and Michael Foxley – was commissioned by the Committee. Continue reading