A billionaire businessman who has acted as an economic adviser to Nicola Sturgeon has accused the Scottish Government of “incompetence” over its handling of a crisis at the country’s last commercial shipyard.
Jim McColl, who stepped in to save the historic Ferguson Marine yard on the Clyde when it was threatened with closure in 2014, has blamed SNP ministers for threatening the future of the business.
The Port Glasgow company has begun the process of going into administration following a long-running dispute with the government over a delayed contract for two Caledonian MacBrayne ferries, prompting speculation that the facility could be nationalised.
The firm says it expects to lose nearly £40 million due to complications with the deal and announced on Friday that it had no choice but to call in administrators, putting 350 jobs at risk.
Mr McColl, who was lauded by Alex Salmond, the then First Minister, when his firm Clyde Blowers Capital saved the yard in the run-up to the independence referendum five years ago, now blames the SNP administration for the yard’s plight.
He said the government was acting in a way that was economically damaging “for the local area and for Scotland”, adding: “Anybody with a Standard Grade in economics would be able to work this out, it’s not rocket science. The Government should not get away with abusing their power like this.