FM asked to hand over ferry documents as part of delayed vessels probe

The convener of the committee investigating the delayed ferries said he was 'disappointed' with evidence received from a cabinet secretary.

Nicola Sturgeon asked to hand over specific ferry documents as part of delayed vessels probe STV News

A Holyrood committee has written to Nicola Sturgeon seeking specific documents around the procurement of the overdue Ferguson Marine ferries.

The convener of the Public Audit Committee also set out his “disappointment” at the level of detail he received in a submission from cabinet secretary Keith Brown.

The First Minister spoke to the committee in person for nearly two hours on Friday last week as it investigated issues around the Glen Sannox and the as-yet-unnamed hull 802.

During her appearance, she strongly denied a suggestion from an MSP that the contract represented “jobs for the boys”.

Committee convener Richard Leonard also expressed his displeasure that the substantive part of Mr Brown’s submission amounted to only 150 words.

In his latest letter to the First Minister, Leonard asked for documents and information around eight specific points.

One of these is a briefing prepared for Sturgeon ahead of the announcement of Ferguson Marine as preferred bidder on August 31, 2015.

The First Minister visited the Port Glasgow yard on this date.

It is also seeking minutes or notes of a meeting with the former owner of Ferguson Marine Jim McColl on May 31, 2017.

In his letter to Brown, Leonard said the Justice Secretary’s submission lacked detail about information which then transport secretary Derek Mackay may have shared with him in 2015.

Leonard said: “The committee asks you to revisit the first question in our original correspondence to you and provide a response to the specific question that was asked.

“In more general terms, we wish to express our disappointment that the content of your letter does not provide the level of detail we would have expected, to assist our scrutiny of the Auditor General’s report.”

Leonard also wrote to Auditor General Stephen Boyle asking for a response to a letter from the ferry-owning company CMAL alleging he was mistaken in an earlier submission.

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