A Highlands and Islands MSP has demanded that Nicola Sturgeon takes personal responsibility for the crisis which has engulfed the ferry service across the West coast of Scotland.
Scottish Conservative MSP Donald Cameron said that islanders’ patience had finally snapped following the decision of Pentland Ferries to withdraw from talks to provide a replacement vessel to service west coast routes.
Mr Cameron said: “Our island communities are utterly dependent on a reliable ferry service, and it is the direct responsibility of Nicola Sturgeon and her government to provide this."
“It is unbelievable that SNP ministers have allowed the service to deteriorate to such an extent that island leaders have given up on the Scottish Government and are appealing directly to the UK Government to come to their rescue.”
Mr Cameron contrasted the lack of action from the First Minister with the decision of UK cabinet minister Michael Gove to visit the Western Isles in person and discuss possible solutions with Western Isles council leader Roddy Mackay.
“The UK Government’s ‘UK Connectivity Review’ provides a framework for progress and it is encouraging that Michael Gove proposed options which could be funded through a bid to the £4.8 billion UK-wide levelling up fund."
“The SNP on the other hand have effectively boycotted this review on political grounds, while failing to deliver solutions themselves. That is unforgiveable."
“Nicola Sturgeon now needs to put politics to one side and play her part, instead of continuing to obstruct progress.”
More on Michael Gove visit to Western Isles: Gove, Mackay ferries summit in SY (welovestornoway.com)