SNP ministers mocked CalMac ferry scandal in Defense News website’s April Fool’s Day gag

NATS ministers have been mocked by a defense news website with an April Fool’s Day story ridiculing their unfinished ferry fiasco.

The fake article in the British newspaper Defense told how the warship HMS Glasgow was being drafted for passenger services from the mainland to the Scottish islands.

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SNP ministers mocked in April Fools’ Day gag
The ferry scandal engulfs the government

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The ferry scandal engulfs the governmentCredit: Alamy

The gag comes amid the ferry contract scandal engulfing the Scottish government following allegations of cronyism and a skyrocketing bill to taxpayers for long-delayed CalMac ships.

The Defense News website’s April Fool’s Day headline stated: “New frigate to temporarily take over ferry duties for Scottish islands.”

The story read: “HMS Glasgow, currently under construction on the Clyde, is to be used to carry passengers between Scottish islands after a request from the Scottish Government due to delays with ferries being built at Port Glasgow.”

He recounted how the frigate was “enabled to adapt to changing missions, from disaster relief and humanitarian assistance to embarking military forces or supporting diving operations and, in this case, to the transport of persons to and from the Isle of Skye”.

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He then quoted a “Scottish government spokesman” called “Iain Ferrilees” welcoming the decision, and a “UK government spokesman” called “Avril Fuller”.

SNP ministers awarded a £97million contract for two ferries in 2015 to the Ferguson yard in Port Glasgow – which Nats chiefs had boasted they had saved the previous year.

Two new ferries were due to arrive in 2018, but it will now be at least 2023 before they come into service – and it has been warned that the costs to taxpayers could reach £400m.

The unfinished MV Glen Sannox is to sail from Ayrshire to Arran, while the other – still known as ‘Hull 802’ – is to serve the Hebrides.

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Audit Scotland last month highlighted a series of failures and explained how SNP ministers effectively overruled bosses at state-owned Caledonian Maritime Assets Ltd to award the deal to Ferguson, despite CMAL’s warning, c was risky and they should look elsewhere.

It comes after a current SNP chief of staff was dragged into the CalMac ferry scandal with documents suggesting he gave his approval to the doomed shipyard deal.

Justice Secretary Keith Brown was in the spotlight the day after Nicola Sturgeon appeared to blame disgraced former minister Derek Mackay for the fiasco.

Documents obtained by The Scottish Sun reveal that Mr Brown – who was Infrastructure Secretary in 2015 – was asked to sign the £96million deal in August of that year because the Transport Minister of Mr. Mackay was absent at the time.

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There is no indication that Mr Brown did not approve of the Ferguson shipyard, as he was confirmed as the preferred bidder a few days later.

And Ms Sturgeon was also warned by her rivals that she couldn’t get away with it – after personally announcing the interim contract.

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