Highlands and Islands MSP Jamie Halcro Johnston has said that the growing scandal over the ferries fiasco means that attempts by the SNP and Greens to quash an independent public inquiry are now untenable.
Since a debate last week in the Scottish Parliament, when SNP and Greens MSPs combined to vote down a demand from opposition MSPs for an inquiry, the controversy over the ferry procurement programme has escalated following interventions by the former owner of Ferguson Marine, Jim McColl, and the former First Minister, Alex Salmond.
The Scottish Conservative MSP said: “Since the debate we have heard a series of contradictory statements from people involved in this fiasco.
“Nicola Sturgeon claimed in Parliament last week that former transport minister Derek Mackay signed off the disastrous deal, only for government emails to show Mackay was on holiday at the time.
"There are now serious charges that Nicola Sturgeon may have misled Parliament - again - with this claim.
"Jim McColl, who took on the yard, claims the deal was rushed through without proper safeguards so that Nicola Sturgeon could get some good headlines at her first SNP conference.
“And it's become so confusing that Kate Forbes, in a car-crash interview with Good Morning Scotland, didn’t even seem to know who she should be blaming.
“While the SNP fight like ferrets in a sack, taxpayers are left hundreds of millions of pounds out of pocket, and islanders are left waiting for ferries that should have entered service years ago.
“This is a disgraceful situation, which brings shame on to the SNP Government and its increasingly desperate attempts to evade responsibility.
“Their block on an inquiry is untenable, and the members and terms of reference of an inquiry must be established as soon as possible.
"The public has been left out of pocket and in the dark by this scandal. It's time for the SNP and Greens to stop trying to hide from accountability and agree to an inquiry".