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Holyrood Tory toff tries to tear up forest powers Bill

ARISTOCRATIC Tory MSP Sir Edward Mountain is attempting to scupper plans to expand powers to seize Scottish forests for development.

The Highlands & Islands MSP — a landowner, baronet and former army officer — has tabled an amendment to scrap part of the Scottish government’s forestry Bill.

Under the Bill, Holyrood ministers will take over powers from forestry commissioners. There would be a new power to compulsorily purchase land for “sustainable development.”

Mr Mountain told the Herald that the Bill’s provisions were “unnecessary,” as “ministers can already compulsorily purchase land for forestry reasons.”

He has declared numerous financial interests on the Holyrood register, including a 50 per cent share in Delfur Fishings valued at £8.3 million.

He and his siblings are also thought to have trousered an inheritance of £14.5m after the death of their father in 2005.

Scottish Labour is supporting the extension of compulsory purchase powers.


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