GREENOCK-born MSP Jamie Greene has responded to 'damning' claims that a whistleblower’s evidence to an independent inquiry into the awarding of Ferguson Marine ferry contract was ‘ignored’.

Mr Greene's spoke after BBC Disclosure reported that evidence given to Barry Smith KC by former CMAL procurement manager George McGregor was not included in the inquiry's findings.

Mr McGregor, who was in position when the £97m ferry deal was awarded, claims that he warned senior CMAL staff that they were ‘too close’ to executives of Ferguson Marine Engineering Ltd. (FMEL) during the bidding process, and that the procurement ‘broke every rule in the book’.

The report by Mr Smith KC, published last month, stated that no evidence of fraud was found in the contract award.

READ MORE: Probe clears CMAL over Ferguson's ferry contract award 

Mr McGregor told the BBC: "I told the KC that procurement rules had clearly been broken, and I'm disappointed that was not reflected in his report."

CMAL instructed its solicitors to appoint a KC in December last year to investigate allegations of ‘rigging’ in the process of awarding the Hull 801 and 802 contracts, which were made in a BBC documentary.

Greenock Telegraph:

In response to Mr McGregor’s claims, Mr Smith said: “My investigation was instructed by CMAL pursuant to their duties under the SPFM [Scottish Public Finance Manual] to investigate allegations of fraud.

"If the BBC believe there is new information that I have not seen, then please share all relevant information with me and I will carefully consider it."

West Scotland MSP Mr Greene has previously criticised ‘failures in leadership and judgement’ since the Scottish Government acquired the Port Glasgow shipyard in 2019.

He told the Telegraph: “These are damning complaints from an individual who was closely involved in the procurement process, perhaps voicing concerns that many experts have held for some time.

Greenock Telegraph:

“The investigation itself was only ever going to reach one conclusion given the remit handed to Barry Smith KC.

“Yet, still we are awaiting answers from SNP ministers on this whole scandal, which nobody has taken any responsibility for.

“Islanders desperate for lifeline ferries are at the heart of all this, and the potential for the yard to secure new contracts is held up whilst the current two hulls take up its potential and capacity to build more vessels.”