20,000 sign petition in support of farmer facing eviction

MSP Sarah Boyack with the petition yesterday. Picture: Ian Georgeson
MSP Sarah Boyack with the petition yesterday. Picture: Ian Georgeson
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More than 100 people handed in a petition to the Scottish Parliament in support of the Stoddart family, who face being removed from their farm before Christmas.

Signed by nearly 20,000 people in just one week the petition on the 38 Degrees “Campaigns by You” website calls on the First Minister to intervene in the case.

The petition was started by Michelle Wood, a neighbour of the Stoddart family, after she found out that Andrew, Claire and their three children were being forced from their East Lothian farm at the end of November.

She handed in the petition to the Scottish Parliament with the journalist and campaigner Lesley Riddoch in front 38 Degrees and the Our Land campaign members. The petition was received by Rob Gibson, convener of the Scottish Parliament’s rural affairs, climate change and environment committee.

When she started the petition, Michelle wrote: “The Stoddart family will be forced to move from the local area, laying off their two employees, and taking their children away from school and friends. They are to be given very little recompense for the investments they have made over their lifetime, leaving them both homeless and unable to buy a farm elsewhere.”

She added: “I believe this great show of support gives them courage because I saw smiles on their faces. ”