A PUBLIC inquiry should be held into the ferry fiasco which almost led to the collapse of the shipbuilding firm contracted to supply the new CalMac ferries according to the site’s former director.

Jim McColl, who ran Ferguson Marine appeared before MSPs on the the Rural Economy and Connectivity (REC) Committee as part of an inquiry into the construction and procurement of ferry vessels in Scotland, including the one destined to service the crossing to Arran.

Ferguson Marine was forced into administration in August last year, before being taken over by the Scottish Government.

McColl said he felt “shafted” by the Scottish Government and accused Nicola Sturgeon of announcing the contract publicly before a price had been fully agreed.

The ferries are expected to cost twice as much as planned and are well behind schedule.

Jamie Greene MSP who sits on the committee said: “The plot thickens with every piece of evidence this inquiry hears. Jim McColl is right in demanding that only a full public inquiry, with witnesses giving evidence under oath, will unearth why hundreds of millions of pounds of public money has been so badly mishandled by the SNP.”