Jim McColl, the previous proprietor of the Ferguson Marine shipyard, has stated Nicola Sturgeon’s declare it might shut with out the contract for 2 CalMac ferries was “a lie”.
The businessman additionally disputed the First Minister’s declare about what number of jobs have been saved by the contract for the ferries – Glen Sannox and Hull 802 – which are actually overdue and over funds.
He has beforehand stated the contract was rushed by for political causes in 2015 as a result of SNP convention, one thing the Scottish Government strongly denies.
Mr McColl spoke to the BBC’s Good Morning Scotland radio programme on Tuesday.
It was put to him that the First Minister had stated on Monday the yard would have closed and 400 jobs would have been misplaced if a special resolution had been taken.
He stated: “That’s a lie. At the time there have been 150 workers, not 400.
“I think she was a bit rattled in the interview and she mixed it up with the statement that they made about saving the yard.”
Jim McColl and Nicola Sturgeon
The shipyard in Port Glasgow was finally introduced into public possession in 2019.
When it was advised to Mr McColl that calling her assertion a lie was “very strong words”, he stated: “Well, it’s not true”.
Mr McColl continued: “The yard had excellent work.
“It was nonetheless engaged on the ferry Katrina which wasn’t launched till 2016 and was delivered early and on funds.
“It additionally had further development work, fabrication work, so there was no hazard of the yard going below at the moment.
“That was a slip by the First Minister in the interview.”
Mr McColl then admitted he had made a mistake himself in an earlier interview with Good Morning Scotland.
He had initially claimed he had not signed the contract for the ferries, however paperwork bearing his signature have been produced which confirmed this was not the case.
The Glen Sannox at Ferguson Marine
The businessman additionally stated his firm had been clear with the federal government from the beginning concerning the lack of a money refund assure.
It is now estimated that the 2 CalMac vessels won’t be accomplished till 2023 at a value of £250 million, greater than twice the unique funds.
Mr McColl, proprietor of Clyde Blowers Capital, sat on the SNP Scottish Government’s Council of Economic Advisers till the physique was changed in July 2021.
Responding to Mr McColl’s feedback, Scottish Conservative MSP, Graham Simpson, stated his claims concerning the refund assure have been “devastating”.
Mr Simpson stated: “The First Minister’s solely defence for her Government’s reckless resolution to award the contract to Ferguson Marine has been that it saved the roles of 400 employees on the yard.
“But Mr McColl has pushed a coach and horses by that declare by insisting that there have been solely 150 employees on the time and that the yard had sufficient work to stay viable even when it hadn’t been awarded the contract to construct the 2 CalMac ferries.
“This scandal gets murkier by the day. It’s essential a full, independent inquiry is set up to get to the bottom of it.”
Lib Dem MSP, Willie Rennie, stated: “Jim McColl’s enterprise experience is past doubt and that was recognised by the SNP who courted him for years.
“His anger on the therapy from the SNP is palpable.
“Nicola Sturgeon will do anything, say anything and ditch anyone to protect the SNP.”