Highlands and Islands MSP Jamie Halcro Johnston has condemned comments from the SNP’s Pete Wishart in which the senior nationalist MP complained about the scrutiny being given to the ferry procurement scandal at Holyrood.
After missing emails were discovered only hours before a Conservative debate on ferries, Nicola Sturgeon was repeatedly questioned at First Minister's Questions on her government's lack of transparency on the issue.
However, Mr Wishart took to social media to bemoan MSPs' focus on the issue, despite polling showing confidence in the SNP government is being severely damaged by their failure to deliver the ferries and cost overruns.
Responding to Mr Wishart's comments, Scottish Conservative Shadow Minister for Business and Tourism Jamie Halcro Johnston said: “The ferries fiasco is costing jobs and livelihoods in many of the communities that I represent.
"It has left communities without the ferries they need, and put huge pressure on a ferries network which, after 15 years of mismanagement by central government in Edinburgh, has almost all no resilience in it whatsoever.
“And, of course, it has left Scottish taxpayers out of pocket by hundreds of millions of pounds, impacting on the funds available for much needed future investment in our transport links.
"Despite this, SNP ministers have repeatedly tried to withhold the true extent of their failures, as well as which minister actually signed off the disastrous deal with Ferguson Marine.
“And so it is absolutely right that the Scottish Parliament holds ministers to account and demands that Nicola Sturgeon provides answers to the many questions that have arisen as a result of her Government’s mismanagement of the contract.
“Pete Wishart’s ridiculous comments show just how desperate the SNP are to avoid their ministers being held to account.
"But while his party-first approach might curry favour with his beleaguered nationalist colleagues in Edinburgh, they'll be met with anger and frustration in the ferry-reliant communities the SNP are letting down so badly".