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Rennie calls for Scottish Government review GFG Alliance deals



Scottish Liberal Democrat leader Willie Rennie has submitted a series of parliamentary questions over the Scottish Government’s agreements with the GFG Alliance, the parent company responsible for several steel plants across Scotland.

The group, which owns Liberty Steel, was plunged into uncertainty when its financial backer Greensill Capital filed for administration in March.

Earlier this month, the Serious Fraud Office announced it was investigating GFG for suspected fraud, fraudulent trading and money laundering within the group.

Rennie therefore asked the Scottish Government to immediately launch a review of its agreement, documents and contacts with the GFG Alliance, to provide reassurance or establish whether there are any grounds for concern.

The Scottish Government has provided guarantees worth up to £575m to the firm.

New reports show the government refusing to state whether payments scheduled to be made by the GFG Alliance in March were made.

Rennie said: “The guarantees provided to GFG Alliance represent one of the biggest deals ever signed off by the Scottish Government.

“Ministers should immediately launch a review of its own agreements, documentation and contacts with the firm – this could provide the reassurance that is necessary or identify whether there is any cause for concern.

“What’s more, the government must immediately tell Parliament whether scheduled payments from the GFG Alliance, due in March, were made.”

In April, Labour peer and former MSP Lord Foulkes urged the UK Government to investigate Greensill Capital’s links with the Scottish Parliament.

He asked for an assurance that the recently-announced Westminster inquiry into the collapse of Greensill and former prime minister David Cameron ‘s lobbying on its behalf, would include investigation into how Scottish ministers were involved.

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This followed reports that Rural Economy Secretary Fergus Ewing dined with Lex Greensill and Liberty Steel boss Sanjeev Gupta at a Glasgow restaurant in 2017.

A Freedom of Information request revealed that the minister had no officials with him, no notes were taken, and the government claims to have no emails, texts or phone records about the meeting.

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