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17 May 2018

Stevenson Comments on North-East Tory MSP's Resignation

Banffshire & Buchan Coast MSP Stewart Stevenson has urged Scottish Tory leader Ruth Davidson to “clean up” her party after her Rural Economy Spokesperson was forced to resign in disgrace for lobbying local councillors over a planning application by a business that he holds shares in.

North-East Tory list MSP Peter Chapman resigned his front bench position this afternoon after a newspaper report emerged that he had been lobbying councillors to pass a planning application for a company in which he held a £50,000 stake.

The revelations follow previous cases of prominent Tories using their position as MSP to lobby for and ask questions that would potentially support their own financial interests.

Peter Chapman also found himself in hot water after auctioning-off a lunch in the Scottish Parliament at a Tory party fundraising event in St Combs in 2017, raising serious questions over cash for access.

Commenting, Stewart Stevenson said:

“The time has now come for Ruth Davidson to clean up her party. She really needs to get a grip of her self-interested colleagues on the Tory benches.

“The Tories think that they can do what they want and get away with it – but time and time again they get caught out. Peter Chapman is not the first, and I doubt he’ll be the last.

“This latest example is an incredibly serious issue – and shows just how far Ruth Davidson’s party are prepared to go in order to feather their own nests.

“Peter Chapman spent five years as a councillor in Aberdeenshire and therefore should be well-aware of how the system works if you have a financial interest in a planning application. Mr Chapman was on the Buchan Area Committee when his own planning applications for wind turbines were up for discussion and managed to remove himself from those discussions. He should have known that the same thing applied here and it’s therefore right that he has resigned his position.”

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