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Shadow Scotland secretary Ian Murray writes to UK and Scottish governments in further push for Bifab inquiry

Ian Murray
Ian Murray

Shadow Scotland secretary Ian Murray has written to both UK and Scottish Governments calling for a full inquiry into the Bifab collapse.

Labour MP Mr Murray sent letters this morning to Scottish Secretary Alister Jack and First Minister Nicola Sturgeon in the wake of the “abandonment” of workers at the stricken manufacturing company.

In them, he writes: “Scotland Office Minister David Duguid said he agreed an inquiry would be appropriate, indicating the UK Government are open to an inquiry into this matter.

“I hope you will deliver on this and that both of Scotland’s governments can launch a full inquiry, looking at all of the evidence, to understand how the decision to abandon 500 green industrial jobs was reached.”

Both Holyrood and Westminster governments announced at the end of November the withdrawal of support for the company.

BiFab’s Arnish yard on the Isle of Lewis.

Economy Secretary Fiona Hyslop maintained throughout the fault of the companies collapse was on majority shareholder JV Driver, which owns subsidiary company DF Barnes in the operation of the company.

Bifab was unsuccessful in bids for contract work on the supply chain for SSE’s Seagreen off-shore wind-turbine energy site.

It was dealt a further blow when a deal to manufacture eight turbine jackets at its yards in Methil, Fife, as part of the Neart Na Gaoithe (NnG) project developed by EDF Renewables collapsed.

SSE and EDF subsequently told MSPs Scottish products were “too expensive” to purchase under certificates for difference legislation, explaining why lots of work for wind farms close to the country’s coast was being handed to Chinese and other Asian countries.

‘Scotland being ripped off’ over offshore wind development contracts

‘Brutal blow’

In letters seen by us, Mr Murray calls on both governments to support an investigation into what went wrong to avoid further damage to Scotland’s manufacturing and green economy.

He said: “When the Scottish and UK governments talk about creating green jobs, I didn’t realise they would all be overseas.

“Nicola Sturgeon withdrawing support for the BiFab plants is a brutal blow to communities in Fife and Lewis.

“Hundreds of green industrial jobs have been abandoned at exactly the time our economy needs greater investment in the jobs of the future.

“In the words of the STUC, the SNP and the Tories colluded to exclude Scottish workers during this whole sorry saga.

“After a UK Government minister confirmed he would support an inquiry into the matter following my question, the Scottish Government must do the same.

“We need a full inquiry to understand how the disastrous decision to abandon 500 green industrial jobs was reached.”

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