Carson gets shadow farming brief

Scottish Conservative MSP for Galloway and West Dumfries, Finlay Carson, has been appointed as the Shadow Spokesperson for Fishing and Farming.

Following last week’s announcement of the new Scottish Government, Ruth Davidson announced the main opposition front bench. Finlay will join the Rural Economy and Connectivity team to be headed up by North East MSP, Peter Chapman.

Commenting on his appointment, Mr Carson said: “I am delighted to have been appointed the shadow spokesperson for fishing and farming. This is a brief that I have a long standing interest in and which is important for the constituency that I am now privileged to represent.

The Scottish Conservatives were elected on a platform of providing a strong opposition and holding the SNP Government to account. As part of Ruth Davidson’s team this is exactly what I will be doing over the course of this new Parliamentary term.

Nowhere is this more important than in farming. The recent report from Audit Scotland on the Scottish Government’s handling of CAP payment system was among the most damning ever to be produced by the organisation. Farmers in Dumfries and Galloway and across Scotland have been starved of millions of pounds as a result of the SNP’s failure to get to grips with this crisis and the effect on the local economy will be truly devastating. It is time for an independent inquiry into this whole fiasco and the Scottish Conservatives will be pushing for this to be established”.

Although Finlay Carson will cover fishing and farming, the rural economy and connectivity team will cover all matters of vital important to rural Scotland including forestry, transport, connectivity and broadband.

Mr Carson added: “A one size fits all approach does not work in Scotland. What works in Glasgow and Edinburgh doesn’t necessarily work down here in Dumfries and Galloway.

That is why, during the election, the Scottish Conservatives called for the establishment of a South of Scotland Enterprise Agency, similar to Highland and Islands Enterprise, to recognise the very different challenges facing Rural Scotland.

I hope the Scottish Government will heed this call and give Rural Scotland the recognition and investment that it is crying out for”.