Could the aspirant First Minister get his facts right?

I don’t want to be a pedant but it is symptomatic of much political debate about land reform that the wrong things are said about some important matters which, if not corrected, serve only to confuse.

In Iain Gray’s speech [link broken May 2024] to the Scottish Labout Party conference in Oban yesterday, he said,

“This is what Labour First Ministers do.

Donald with the great Land Reform act – the first bill of the first legislative programme.”

This is wrong. The Draft bill was published in 2001 and the bill itself introduced to Parliament in November 2001. In fact 13 Acts were given Royal Assent in 1999 and 2000 alone before the Land Reform Bill was even published in draft form.

Iain Gray also then mentions the people of Eigg and Knoydart as examples of instances where Labout First Ministers make things happen. The community buyouts on Eigg and Knoydart both took place before establishment of the Scottish Parliament.

The Land Reform Act was significant so please don’t spoil things by making claims that are not accurate.