SNP savaged for giving US arms company nearly £200,000

Paul Wheelhouse is accused of a secret meeting at Raytheon. Picture: John Devlin
Paul Wheelhouse is accused of a secret meeting at Raytheon. Picture: John Devlin
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The Scottish Government has come under fire after giving nearly £200,000 in state aid to US weapons firm Raytheon, whose missile guidance systems have allegedly been used in attacks killing dozens of civilians in Yemen.

Paul Wheelhouse, Scotland’s former business minister, held a secret meeting with managers of Raytheon – who sell weapons and military ­electronics around the world – at their office in Glenrothes, Fife.

According to the Sunday Mail, the now Minister for Energy covered up the meeting in January. Emails released through freedom of information requests show Mr Wheelhouse rejected a request from Raytheon’s communications team to publicise the visit, saying it was “agreed by the minister as a private visit”.

Scottish Labour MSP Neil Findlay condemned the relationship with Raytheon and called for Mr Wheelhouse to reveal why he met the company and concealed the talks.

The firm received £135,465 from Scottish Enterprise over the last five years, and it’s understood a further £50,160 has been awarded in 2018.

The Scottish Government claims it does not fund the manufacture or export of munitions from Scotland and said funds given to the company were used to “diversify the site into more defence-related activities”.