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

I say to the First Minister that it might be a good use of her time, and Parliament’s time, if she answers the question. Again, there is nothing—[


.] Nicola Sturgeon has more ministers than ever before, more special advisers than ever before and more communications staff than ever before, and none of them can find the vital link—as she has called it—that is missing.

The First Minister claims to be a master of detail right up until the point at which the Government makes a mistake. Then, her memory is like a sieve. Every time the going gets tough, we hear, “She can’t recall,” “She doesn’t know,” “She’s not sure.” We are supposed to believe that a quarter-of-a-billion-pound decision either was never written down, has vanished or has been illegally destroyed.

The First Minister has botched this and covered up mistakes. Those who are trying to get to the bottom of the matter have been unable to do so because Ferguson Marine employees cannot speak openly, because of Scottish National Party gagging orders. The First Minister could change that. Will she tell us—as she is rifling through her folder—how many gagging orders were issued? Will she waive them all today to end the secrecy? I am also going to keep asking: where has the vital document gone?