FMQs RECAP: Nicola Sturgeon faces MSPs a week before Council Elections

Nicola Sturgeon is to once again face MSPs at FMQs in the Scottish Parliament.

It will be the final FMQs before the council elections next week.

Nicola Sturgeon may face questions over the transparency of the Scottish Government after an information commissioner ruled the Scottish Government should publish legal advice it received about a second independence referendum.

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Nicola Sturgeon will face MSPs today at FMQs

It was also revelaed by The Scotsman today that Scottish ministers were advised their deal with GFG Alliance to save the Lochaber smelter worth £586m to the taxpayer may have been in breach of state aid rules as details of the agreement are made public for the first time.

You can follow updates in our live blog below.

Last week Anas Sarwar took aim at First Minister Nicola Sturgeon over the need to better support struggling families with fuel and food costs.

Ahead of the council elections Scottish Conservative leader Douglas Ross however urged voters to reject Ms Sturgeon’s party at the ballot box next week, claiming that SNP-run councils “will run down local services and hike council tax”.

Nicola Sturgeon said “people in Scotland have the opportunity to lock the Tories out of council chambers across the country”.

The SNP leader said: “The cost-of-living crisis means families and households across Scotland are terrified to open their bills, yet the Tories have neglected the crisis under their noses – instead spending their time defending their partying bosses at Westminster.

FMQs RECAP: Nicola Sturgeon faces MSPs a week before Council Elections

Last updated: Thursday, 28 April, 2022, 12:50

Hello and welcome along to our live blog ahead of FMQs

A look at some of the questions we know will be coming today to the FM.

The deadline for the one in ten year Scottish census is expected to be pushed back due to poor completion rates.

Scottish ministers were advised their deal with GFG Alliance to save the Lochaber smelter worth £586m to the taxpayer may have been in breach of state aid rules as details of the agreement are made public for the first time.

We’re minutes away from FMQs - a statement about Scotland’s census will be made to MSPs later today also.

Douglas Ross opens FMQs asking about Scotland’s delayed and over-priced ferries, costing the taxpayer £250,000.

He says: “The Auditor-General last week criticised the SNP for failing to record the crucial decision to go ahead with a ferry contract that has so far cost taxpayers quarter of a billion pounds.

“In response, a Scottish Government spokesperson said “a thorough search has been conducted and the paperwork cannot be located.” That is laughable.”

“First Minister, do you really expect anyone to believe this? “And tell us, where has that crucial document gone?”

Nicola Sturgeon says that there is one piece of evidence missing, but that there is no evidence that this has been misheld.

She says there is one link in the chain that is missing but that the series of events can be followed.

There are more than 200 documents relating to the ferry deal available for scrutiny, replies Ms Sturgeon, who accepts there is one piece of documentation that is not there.

Douglas Ross says “First Minister, this was one of your proudest achievements - it should have been framed up on your wall. “Maybe it is, maybe that’s where the key document has gone.”

He asks where the document is gone on Cmal - Nicola Sturgeon says that it is one item but that the decision has been recorded and that the decision that ministers are content is also documented.

Douglas Ross asks how many gagging orders were issued over to Ferguson Marine workers.

He says: “The Auditor General also said last week “we recommend that there needs to be a fuller review – lessons learned feels too glib to describe the circumstances before us.”

“But all we’ve heard is one glib statement after another from the First Minister.”

He adds: “We know advice was given to government ministers not to go ahead with the deal. And we know they ignored it.”

“So can she finally come clean and tell us, did you personally see the advice not to go ahead with this deal before the decision was made?”

The First Minister responds branding the questions “desperate stuff” from Douglas Ross and says that no one in Ferguson’s would be stopped from speaking to Audit Scotland.

She says everyone is enabled and free to speak. She adds that a fuller review is being considered but that the priority remains on completing the ferries.

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