Loch Lomond and The Trossachs National Park has been branded an “embarrassment to Scotland” after one of its leading members was forced to resign from the park board for failing to declare shares in a £200 million gold mining company.
Owen McKee, who bought shares for £12,000 in the Australian company Scotgold after it was given permission to dig for gold at Cononish near Tyndrum in the park, has triggered a by-election next month by standing down as an elected member of the board. He had previously sold his shares and resigned as vice-convener and chair of the planning committee, but remained a member of the board.
Our sister paper the Sunday Herald revealed in August that McKee breached the park’s code of conduct by failing to declare his shareholding at 15 meetings over more than two years. It has emerged that two days after the story appeared, he wrote a letter resigning from the park board “in the light of recent media coverage”.
Dave Morris, the former director of Ramblers Scotland, described McKee’s resignation as “inevitable” after the “cover-up” of his mistakes was exposed. “It is unlikely to be the last resignation as the board's reputation continues to spiral downwards,” he claimed.
“Our national parks were supposed to demonstrate best practice, but instead in Loch Lomond we have never-ending lessons in leadership failure. It is an embarrassment to Scotland.”