CALLED to resign over his controversial interventions in croft common grazings committees, Crofting Commission convenor Colin Kennedy this week said that he was going nowhere.

Over past weeks, Mr Kennedy has faced a barrage of criticism from the Scottish Crofting Federation, which this week expressed its 'bewilderment' that he is still in place as convenor, despite it being clear that he does not have the support of the Commission's board.

Mr Kennedy told The Scottish Farmer: “I am currently taking legal advice and it is inappropriate for me to comment at this stage.

“All I will say is that, despite all the flak, I am staying in my position as convener, and not resigning.”

This week, there was no sign of that flak abating, as Scottish Crofting Federation vice-chair Russell Smith described last week’s commission board meeting, held in Brora, as an “eye-opener”.

Said Mr Smith: “It quickly became apparent that the convener had lost the support of his board and it came as no surprise that he left the meeting with his tail between his legs. What is astounding though is that he still has not resigned. What does it take for him to get the message?

“At the meeting observers were treated to a bizarre display with Mr Kennedy, attempting to force his will on the rest of the board and officials," claimed Mr Smith. "Failing in this, he closed the meeting without any business being conducted and left.

“The meeting was re-convened with vice-convener Iain MacDonald in the chair and normal business was resumed. Mr MacDonald issued a full and open apology for the recent debacle involving the commission’s handling of common grazing committees. The apology is very welcome and shows the other commissioners do have integrity.

“However, the apology should have come from Mr Kennedy, along with his resignation speech, both because he is the spokesman for the commissioners and because he has been the chief antagonist in the whole affair. Mr Kennedy has been very destructive for crofting and for the commission, and it is time to put an end to this sorry episode."

Mr Smith added: “There is much to be done in crofting development and in rural issues, especially with the uncertainty over the effect of the European referendum. Mr Kennedy is standing alone now, his position is a farce and he is getting in the way of important business. It is time for the commission, as a body, to have him removed.”

(BLOB) The Crofting Commission has written to shareholders of Upper Coll Common Grazings to advise that its grazings constable will be stepping down as soon as possible. The move follows the submission of a report from the constable.