Nicola Sturgeon brutally went over the ‘£ 250M’ mistake
The criticism comes when the first minister was grilled over the budget for the island’s ferry service, which is said to be more than 250 million pounds. Sturgeon has also been questioned about hiring a contracted “troubleshooter” to help with the £ 2,850-day failure, a rate the prime minister defended as the “market rate” at the time.
When asked by a new prime minister, Sturgeon repeatedly defended his government’s decision to award a contract for two CalMac ferries to Ferguson Marine in 2015, saying it saved the shipyard and jobs.
With the situation still ongoing, Alan Cochrane, journalist and Scottish editor of The Telegraph, said: “In the sinking or swimming world of Scottish politics, the Prime Minister has been left drowning after being taken to task over the ferry debacle.”
The journalist commented on the grilling Sturgeon received from opposing Scottish MPs.
He said of Sturgeon: “She was cruelly taken on by Labor’s Anas Sarwar and Tory Douglas Ross for the costly mess she and her government have made out of contracts for two ferries, desperately needed for Scotland’s hard-pressed island communities.”
Nicola Sturgeon has been grilled over the ongoing ferry failure
The project is said to be around £ 300 million over budget
According to Cochrane, the figures differ from some reports, but they are still difficult for the Prime Minister to read.
He said: “The cost of the ships started at £ 97 million, but thanks to a catalog of incompetence, intimidating business acumen and blatant political choice, that bill now tops at least £ 250 million.
“Experts in the shipbuilding industry are now predicting with confidence that even the inflated sum could easily eventually reach over 350-400 million pounds.”
Scottish Labor’s Anwar Sarwar, speaking at FMQ’s session, was also critical of the highly lucrative payment Sturgeon allegedly made to Tim Hair, the shipyard’s chief contractor.
With around £ 3,000 a day and a total of £ 2 million for his services, Anwar said: “Did Prime Minister Lionel Messi write? Who is she kidding?”
Disrupts “virtue signaling” in plans to scrap nuclear deterrents
Anas Sarwar asked if Sturgeon has “recruited Messi”
Douglas Ross also struck against Sturgeon
Mr Anwar also claims that the package was designed as an incentive for Mr Hair to move to Scotland from Hampshire.
Speaking about spending in Holyrood, Anwar said: “While people are seeing their bills rise, they see a government paying a quarter of a billion pounds when there are still no ferries.
“Contracts and jobs go abroad, and £ 2 million has been paid to one person.
“This government and this first minister are all about spin and public relations, while the public pays the bill.”
DO NOT MISS:
They were arrested after shopping naked in Screwfix [REVEAL]
The Economist predicts that Britain’s GDP will pass the euro area by 2022 [OPINION]
Putin on his back after guerrilla attacks [REPORT]
The ferries are an important service for isolated Scottish islands
To add to the grilling that Sturgeon faced, the Scottish Conservative leader said he was happy that jobs had been saved in Scotland because of the deal, but hit back at the management of the project.
Mr Ross said he was upset about normal guarantees, in terms of compensation for work not done correctly or completed on time, and that he was missing from the yard’s bid.
He said Sturgeon had not apologized to the people most affected by the five-year delay in completing the ferries – Scotland’s island communities because the ships were “important to their way of life and work”.
Mr Cochrane said after the FMQs: “After a rather brutal barbecue, La Sturgeon insisted that she had followed the correct procedures before adding, something deplorable:” I do not determine the market prices for what people get paid “.
“And for her defense, one thing is for sure – she would not have gotten Lionel Messi for just £ 2 million.”
Has Nicola Sturgeon shot herself in the foot over the failure of the ferries? How will this affect her chances of winning a second referendum on independence? How can Sturgeon redeem himself over this? Let us know what you think by CLICK HERE and join the debate in our comments section below – Every Voice Matters!
Nicola Sturgeon said she would “learn lessons” from the saga
Sturgeon said she had “deeply regretted” that the ships had not yet been put to use on island routes, adding “lessons will be learned” from the experience.
She said: “We will learn from this.
“I have said several times today, I deeply regret the experience of this and I stand here and take, as I did last week, full responsibility.
“But my focus, the government’s focus, is to learn lessons and secure the yard’s future.”
In response to comments about Mr Hair, Sturgeon said: “Decisions were made at that time in line with proper processes and procedures and the people who paid the market prices.
“I do not determine market prices for what people get paid.”