Senior Ferguson Marine boss sacked after ‘breakdown of trust’, says Kate Forbes

The ship delivery director at the yard which is building two late and over-budget ferries had his secondment terminated last week

A senior staff member at Ferguson Marine was sacked as a result of a “breakdown of trust”, the Deputy First Minister has said.

Reports emerged over the weekend that Andy Crossan, the ship delivery director at the yard which is building two late and over-budget ferries, had his secondment terminated and would return to his original employer – the Government-owned ferry procurement body Caledonian Maritime Assets Limited (CMAL).

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The first of the vessels – the Glen Sannox – is due to be handed over at the end of July.

The Caledonian MacBrayne ferry MV Glen Sannox undergoes a sea trial in February. Photo: Jane Barlow/PA WireThe Caledonian MacBrayne ferry MV Glen Sannox undergoes a sea trial in February. Photo: Jane Barlow/PA Wire
The Caledonian MacBrayne ferry MV Glen Sannox undergoes a sea trial in February. Photo: Jane Barlow/PA Wire
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Glen Sannox completion delayed

Speaking in Holyrood, Kate Forbes said: “The Scottish Government was informed on June 19 by Ferguson Marine that the ship delivery director’s contract had been terminated as a result of a breakdown in trust.

“This is wholly a decision for Ferguson Marine.”

The Deputy First Minister refused to go into detail about what had caused the relationship breakdown which led to the manager’s sacking.

“Breakdown in trust is an interesting phrase,” said Scottish Tory MSP Jamie Greene.

“I think there’s been an awful lot of trust broken between our island communities and this Government.”

Mr Greene went on to question the Deputy First Minister on the upcoming decision on a contract to replace smaller ferries.

A campaign has been launched for the tender to be directly awarded to Ferguson Marine, but the Scottish Government has been lukewarm on the idea over fears such a move could breach state aid rules.

Ms Forbes, however, hinted the pre-election period has held up the announcement.

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“The member will know that I said just a matter of days into office that we expected that decision to be announced imminently,” she said.

“A few days later, his boss the Prime Minister called an election and we have been tied up with purdah, unable to make public announcements, so we would hope to be in a position to make a public announcement as soon as we are permitted to do so.”

Asked to provide an update on the two ferries at the yard – which was saved from administration by the Scottish Government before the discovery of substantial problems in the building of the vessels – Ms Forbes pointed to a letter from interim chief executive John Petticrew sent at the end of last month.

Mr Greene told the Deputy First Minister she should have spoken to Ferguson Marine for an update before addressing his question in Parliament.

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