SCOTTISH MINISTERS should intervene in the crofting common grazings debacle and instigate an external examination of the Crofting Commission, the Scottish Crofting Federation said today.

Referring to revelations of a "cover-up", SCF chair Fiona Mandeville said that to suggest that the CC was 'lying' would perhaps be too strong an accusation “but it is clear that they are spinning distortions".

"Saying one thing and then trying to hide the evidence that they have indeed said something else in the past is duplicitous to say the least," said Ms Mandeville.

“This has gone far enough. It seems we can no longer hope that the Commission will come clean and will behave honourably. We have encouraged the Commission all along to allay the fears of crofters and to try to rebuild confidence. With the recent public statements they at last appeared to be moving around to the right direction, but with this ‘cover-up’ exposed they have now drastically reduced confidence further.

"We reiterate our petition that the Scottish Ministers intervene and ensure that an impartial examination of the Commission’s recent conduct is carried out by a competent external body. This is extremely disappointing. It seems that the only way to deal with this is through an external audit of the Commission’s behaviour over the common grazings. And we do mean a full audit.”