Nicola Sturgeon to appear before committee on ferries in November

The First Minister will answer questions on the award of a contract to Ferguson Marine to build two ferries which are now late and over budget.

21 October 2022

Nicola Sturgeon is due to appear before a Holyrood committee investigating the procurement of two late and over-budget ferries on November 4, the committee has said.

The First Minister was called to give evidence before the Public Audit Committee last month – a request she promptly accepted saying she was “very willing” to appear.

The committee is looking into the procurement and construction of the Glen Sannox and as-yet-unnamed Hull 802, which are set to cost three times more than initially planned and be delivered more than five years later than planned.

The ships, being built at the Government-owned Ferguson Marine shipyard in Port Glasgow, have been the subject of much controversy in recent years, revolving around why the contract was awarded to the shipyard which said it could not provide the vital builders refund guarantee that would protect the Government’s investment.

A BBC investigation last month also found that Ferguson Marine had been given sight of a more-than 400-page document detailing the required specifications for the ships before their bid was made.

The investigation also found parts of the document had been copied into the Ferguson Marine bid.

The revelations led to the Scottish Tories calling for the police to be called in, but the First Minister said in an appearance before Holyrood committee conveners, last month, that she does not see any evidence of criminality and it is not her job to determine if there was.

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