David MacBrayne Group (Board Appointments)

– in the Scottish Parliament on 9th December 2021.

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Photo of Rhoda Grant Rhoda Grant Labour

The First Minister will be aware of the recent appointments to the board of David MacBrayne group, which include the appointment of a chairman who is famed for presiding over the ferry fiasco at Caledonian Maritime Assets Ltd, and of three non-executive directors, none of whom has island links. Many islanders have seafaring experience, yet the Scottish Government seemed unable to find one to appoint to the board. Why are islanders being overlooked by her Government?

Photo of Nicola Sturgeon Nicola Sturgeon Scottish National Party

Although I can understand the concerns that Rhoda Grant has expressed, I do not think that it is the case that islanders are being overlooked. There are rigorous processes that must be gone through before appointments to boards can be made, which we comply with.

I encourage Rhoda Grant—I am sure that she will do this, because I know that she takes her duties extremely seriously—to meet the new chair and the new board members. I hope that they will be able to allay her concerns from the point of view of the attention that they will pay to the needs of island communities as they go about their jobs. I am sure that the Minister for Transport would be willing to have a conversation with her about that, too.

The Presiding Officer:

Before we go on to question 3, I let members know that, if we have any time remaining after question 7, I will take more supplementary questions from those members who have already requested to ask a question, so there is no need for them to press their request-to-speak buttons again.