Scot Lib Dems to seek censure for Economy Secretary over China deal shambles

Scottish Liberal Democrats will tomorrow lead a debate holding the Scottish Government to account after it was “duped” in its controversial agreement with two Chinese firms.

Scottish Liberal Democrat leader Willie Rennie, who has led scrutiny of the Scottish Government on the China deal, believes Parliament should censure Economy Secretary Keith Brown. He will argue that the Cabinet Secretary failed to undertake appropriate checks into the human rights record and financial strength of the two Chinese companies before allowing the First Minister to sign the deal.

SinoFortone has not registered any accounts since it was established. Its website has been taken down and questions surround its apparent London headquarters which has no record of their existence. Despite reports of many high-profile deals, their only successful investment was in a pub.

Ahead of the debate tomorrow, Mr Rennie said:

“It has been a year since the First Minister signed a deal with SinoFortone and CR3.

"The connections to human rights abuses is something that should have been identified before pen was the put to paper.

"Recently the front man behind the deal revealed the company he was representing had no capital strength behind it. Essentially this SNP Government was duped by men with sharp suits and a knighthood. They owned nothing more than a pub in the Cotswolds.

“Through the SNP’s action the reputation for Scotland as an ethical place to do business has been damaged. We need assurances that the Scottish Government will do things differently. Our government should not be ignoring the human rights record of companies and signing up to agreements with people they know little about.

“The reputation of Cabinet Secretary Keith Brown is in tatters. He should issue an apology and be censured for his failure."

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