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Scotland's economy secretary has no more detail on ferry delay

Glen Sannox
The Glen Sannox underwent sea trials in February

Scotland's economy secretary has told MSPs she cannot update them on further delays to the overdue ferries at Ferguson Marine.

Mairi McAllan was speaking a day after the shipyard's chief executive, David Tydeman, was sacked.

She said she did not have sufficient detail on any further delays.

The Conservatives said islanders who depend on the new ferries have been "betrayed at every turn" by the problems in the building process.

Ms McAllan was answering an urgent question on the matter in the Scottish Parliament.

She said the decision to sack Mr Tydeman was a matter for the state-owned shipyard's board and they had been considering addressing "performance-related issues" since February.

It emerged on Tuesday that Mr Tydeman had been sacked by the Ferguson Marine board after intimating that further delays to the handover of the Glen Sannox were "likely".

He had earlier said the vessel would be handed over in late May but it seems this deadline can no longer be met.

Ms McAllan said: "The islanders are uppermost in my mind, and that's why I've been very clear that delays are entirely unacceptable."

Mairi McAllan
The economy secretary was unable to update MSPs on delays to the ferries

Asked about the delays and cost overruns for the two ferries, she said: "I do not have sufficient information in order to update parliament with the specificity that I would want to bring to the chamber.

She added: "I was formally notified on Monday of potential delays - potential delays crystallising - but the new executive team and the board will now interrogate those.

"I have been clear that ministers will leave no stone unturned when it comes to securing a sustainable, successful future for Ferguson Marine."

The Conservatives' Graham Simpson said Mr Tydeman had been given an "impossible job" and suggested he had been sacked for being "too honest" about problems at the yard.

Mr Simpson said Ms McAllan must have approved his dismissal, saying "the buck stops with her".

Following the session at Holyrood, Mr Simpson said: "Islanders, who have been betrayed at every turn, got no answers from the cabinet secretary.

"There were no answers on performance issues surrounding David Tydeman, and she shed no light on any further delays and additional costs for these lifeline services which have come to light.

"Huge questions remain unanswered over the sacking of Ferguson Marine's latest turnaround director and Mairi McAllan cannot continue to deflect responsibility on to the board at the yard."

Glen Rosa
The Glen Rosa is estimated to be delivered by September 2025

The two ferries, which will ultimately serve routes in the West of Scotland with CalMac, are some six years late and will cost almost four times the original price of £97m.

Earlier, Scottish Labour leader Anas Sarwar said those in charge of the shipyard should not be rewarded for "failure".

Asked about reports that Mr Tydeman would receive a large payoff despite being sacked, Mr Sarwar told the PA news agency: "We've seen this game before around Ferguson's.

"People should be getting rewarded for good outcomes, and delivering on the government's promises and delivering on the commitments they have made to the local communities, particularly those communities in our rural, remote areas who rely on these ferry services.

"People should not be getting huge payoffs for failure."

Ferguson Marine have not directly confirmed how much money Mr Tydeman will get in a payoff but he received an annual salary of £205,000 plus bonuses.