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CalMac hits back at Western Isles food shortage claim

The MV Hebrides was being repaired due to issues with its firefighting system (Ben Curtis/PA)
The MV Hebrides was being repaired due to issues with its firefighting system (Ben Curtis/PA)

CalMac has hit back at claims of food shortages in the Western Isles following ferry delays.

The ferry company has said it was not to blame for reported food shortages on the islands and prioritised deliveries while their MV Hebrides ship was out of action for three days.

It follows a group of Tory MSPs urging Transport Secretary Jenny Gilruth to intervene after islanders reported having to ration items such as bread and milk.

The CalMac vessel, which serves routes between Uig on Skye, Lochmaddy on North Uist and Tarbert on Harris, was undergoing repairs last week due to issues with its CO2 firefighting system.

Alternative routes were announced by the ferry operator to cover the affected areas.

Robbie Drummond, managing director, said: “Recent negative media coverage in relation to food shortages in the Western Isles and linking these to CalMac, are wholly wrong and without foundation.

“Although the main route between Uig, Lochmaddy and Tarbert was off service for a period, alternative routes to and from the Western Isles still operated.

“We prioritise food supplies and shipped all the food deliveries we were asked to take – nothing was left on the mainland.

“There may have been problems with supermarket supply chains, but these are not down to CalMac.

“We are disappointed and frustrated with the false reporting. We contacted media outlets who have falsely reported on this story (on Wednesday) and are following this up again (on Thursday) to reiterate that these reports are false.”