Derek Mackay facing MSPs at Holyrood over his role in ferries fiasco

The former transport minister is facing a panel of colleagues over the delayed fleet and decision to award the contract to Ferguson Marine.

Derek Mackay questioned by MSPs over his role in Ferguson Marine ferry contract scandal Scottish Parliament

Derek Mackay is facing questions by MSPs investigating the decision to award a contract to build two new ferries which have yet to be delivered.

Ferguson Marine was handed the contract to build the vessels at the yard in Port Glasgow.

However, they are at least £150m over budget and are five years overdue.

Mackay was transport minister between November 2014 and May 2016, during which time the decision to award the contract to the firm was made.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has previously stated that it was Mackay who signed off on the deal.

In a written submission to the Scottish Parliament’s Public Audit Committee in June, Mackay said he believed the risks in awarding the contract had been resolved at the time.

His appearance at Holyrood on Thursday will also see Mackay return to the Parliament for the first time since resigning at the start of 2020.

He quit as finance secretary ahead of budget day after the Scottish Sun newspaper reported that Mackay had send hundreds of messages to a 16-year-old boy.

According to the newspaper, Mackay befriended the teenager on Facebook and on Instagram and sent him 270 messages.

The Renfrewshire South and West MSP was suspended from the SNP pending further investigation.

However, he continued to sit as an independent MSP – though not participating in proceedings – until the Holyrood election last year.

Police Scotland carried out an investigation into the messages sent by Mackay to the teenager and concluded that no crime was committed.

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