Ferry Procurement (Documentation)

Part of the debate – in the Scottish Parliament at on 28 April 2022.

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Photo of Douglas Ross Douglas Ross Conservative

Again, I am asking questions that Nicola Sturgeon will not answer. I asked specifically—[

Interruption

.] SNP members do not want to hear this, but I asked how many gagging orders are in place—how many are there?—and whether the First Minister will agree to waive them today. She has quoted the Auditor General from last week. Let us quote him from this morning. He told the Public Audit Committee that he would speak to Ferguson employees if those gagging orders were removed. Let us allow him to do his job.

Last week, the Auditor General also said:

“we recommend that there needs to be a fuller review—lessons learned feels too glib to describe the circumstances before us.”

All we have heard from Nicola Sturgeon is one glib statement after another. When asked to apologise to the islanders, she dismissively said, “Och, for goodness’ sake.” That was the response from Nicola Sturgeon to islanders who are struggling right now. Her feeble excuse for wasting a quarter of a billion pounds on the ferries is that it is regrettable. It is not regrettable—it is absolutely scandalous.

We know that advice was given to Government ministers not to go ahead with the deal, and we know that they ignored it. Will the First Minister finally come clean and tell us this: she mentions Government ministers, but did she personally see that advice not to proceed with the deal before the decision was made? And, for the fourth and final time today, I ask: will she tell us where that vital piece of documentation is?