Calendar An icon of a desk calendar. Cancel An icon of a circle with a diagonal line across. Caret An icon of a block arrow pointing to the right. Email An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of the Facebook "f" mark. Google An icon of the Google "G" mark. Linked In An icon of the Linked In "in" mark. Logout An icon representing logout. Profile An icon that resembles human head and shoulders. Telephone An icon of a traditional telephone receiver. Tick An icon of a tick mark. Is Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes. Is Not Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes with a diagonal line through it. Pause Icon A two-lined pause icon for stopping interactions. Quote Mark A opening quote mark. Quote Mark A closing quote mark. Arrow An icon of an arrow. Folder An icon of a paper folder. Breaking An icon of an exclamation mark on a circular background. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Caret An icon of a caret arrow. Clock An icon of a clock face. Close An icon of the an X shape. Close Icon An icon used to represent where to interact to collapse or dismiss a component Comment An icon of a speech bubble. Comments An icon of a speech bubble, denoting user comments. Ellipsis An icon of 3 horizontal dots. Envelope An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of a facebook f logo. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Home An icon of a house. Instagram An icon of the Instagram logo. LinkedIn An icon of the LinkedIn logo. Magnifying Glass An icon of a magnifying glass. Search Icon A magnifying glass icon that is used to represent the function of searching. Menu An icon of 3 horizontal lines. Hamburger Menu Icon An icon used to represent a collapsed menu. Next An icon of an arrow pointing to the right. Notice An explanation mark centred inside a circle. Previous An icon of an arrow pointing to the left. Rating An icon of a star. Tag An icon of a tag. Twitter An icon of the Twitter logo. Video Camera An icon of a video camera shape. Speech Bubble Icon A icon displaying a speech bubble WhatsApp An icon of the WhatsApp logo. Information An icon of an information logo. Plus A mathematical 'plus' symbol. Duration An icon indicating Time. Success Tick An icon of a green tick. Success Tick Timeout An icon of a greyed out success tick. Loading Spinner An icon of a loading spinner.

Ferry firm told to apologise to transport expert threatened with legal action

© Andrew CawleyOne of the half-built ferries in Port Glasgow
One of the half-built ferries in Port Glasgow

MSPs have ordered state-owned ferry firm CMAL to apologise to a transport expert who was threatened with legal action over evidence he gave to a parliamentary inquiry in January.

Consultant Roy Pedersen was asked by MSPs why the £97 million contract to build two ferries to serve Scotland’s islands was awarded to Ferguson’s, which was the highest bidder, and he speculated that it could be “incompetence, vested interest or corruption”.

Lawyers for CMAL, the government agency that purchases ferries for operators, sent a letter to Mr Pedersen claiming the comment was defamatory and insisting it was withdrawn, even though statements made to parliamentary committees are protected from defamation actions.

Edward Mountain MSP, chairman of the committee investigating why the cost of the half-built ferries has increased from £97m to more than £200m, has written to CMAL boss Kevin Hobbs to ask him to apologise to Mr Pedersen.

Mr Pedersen said: “I would accept an apology and acknowledge this in good grace. I see no good reason to hold a grudge.”

CMAL said: “We acknowledge receipt of the letter and will respond in due course.”