Land reform expert Andy Wightman elected as Green MSP

LAND reform campaigner Andy Wightman has been elected as a Green MSP on the Lothians list.
Andy Wightman. Picture: Neil HannaAndy Wightman. Picture: Neil Hanna
Andy Wightman. Picture: Neil Hanna

The author of Who Owns Scotland and The Poor Had No Lawyers has spent more than 20 years researching land ownership and rights.

As a leading commentator on land issues and land reform spokesman for the Scottish Greens, he was selected to represent the party on the commission on local tax reform, tasked with finding a fairer alternative to the council tax.

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His expertise was also sought by the UK Parliament’s Scottish Affairs Committee during its 2014-15 inquiry on land reform.

Placed second on the Lothians list for the Greens, behind Alison Johnstone, Mr Wightman has said he will press the Scottish Government to take more radical action on land issues.

He has criticised the SNP Government’s decision to maintain the “outdated, discredited and strikingly unfair” council tax, as well as the passing of a “watered-down” Land Reform Bill during the last parliament.

Mr Wightman, who lives in Edinburgh, studied forestry at Aberdeen University and worked as an environmental scientist before becoming self-employed in 1992.

He jointly developed the Who Owns Scotland? website, a project dedicated to providing public information on who owns land in Scotland.