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Chamber and committees

Meeting date: Tuesday, February 5, 2019

Meeting of the Parliament 05 February 2019

Agenda: Time for Reflection, Topical Question Time, Forestry Strategy 2019 to 2029, Vulnerable Witnesses (Criminal Evidence) (Scotland) Bill: Stage 1, Vulnerable Witnesses (Criminal Evidence) (Scotland) Bill: Financial Resolution, Business Motion, Point of Order, Decision Time, World Cancer Day 2019


Point of Order

Jenny Marra (North East Scotland) (Lab)

On a point of order, Presiding Officer. I want to raise a point of order under rule 8.17 of the standing orders. In response to my question earlier today on the failure of Scottish Enterprise to provide a loan to McGill that would have saved 450 jobs, the Minister for Business, Fair Work and Skills said that McGill

“did not provide the required financial information in time for the appropriate due diligence to be undertaken”.

I understand that to be completely false.

Members: Oh!

Jenny Marra

Today, the minister said that Scottish Enterprise asked for a business plan on 18 December 2018, which was the day that KPMG issued its report. However, there was no request for anything from McGill on that day.

At a meeting on 14 January 2019, Scottish Enterprise asked McGill to provide a two-year financial model, a turnaround plan and a strategic review, which it provided four days later, on 18 January. I have a copy of that email.

The minister hides behind bureaucratic timescales because he has been negligent in his duty to save 450 jobs with a £2 million loan. Yesterday, we heard that the Scottish Government has put together a £15 million funding package to prevent the loss of 300 jobs at Texas Instruments in Inverclyde. The fact that the much lesser amount of £2 million could not be found to save 450 jobs is a disgrace and will be a source of real frustration to the workers and the people who tried to save the company.

I hope that the minister will correct the record, but I am bitterly disappointed that he did not act to save the company.

The Presiding Officer (Ken Macintosh)

I thank Ms Marra for giving me a few minutes’ notice of her point of order. I will make a couple of remarks in response.

First, all members have an obligation to be truthful and accurate in their contributions in the chamber. I also remind all members that they should treat each other with respect.

In the light of her comments, if Ms Marra disputes the accuracy of the minister’s reply I suggest that she pursues the point through intervening on him in parliamentary questions, lodging written or oral questions or writing to him. I hope that she will consider those to be appropriate routes.