I have written to the First Minister to urge her to investigate whether SNP ministers broke the ministerial code over a state aid deal for T in the Park.
Ministers must abide by the Seven Principles of Public Life, including “Objectivity”, which states: “Holders of public office must act and take decisions impartially, fairly and on merit, using the best evidence and without discrimination or bias.”
That is why it’s important to establish whether Culture Secretary Fiona Hyslop broke the code by awarding £150,000 of public funds to the festival following an intervention by a former SNP advisor.
Businesses need assurances that these funds are granted on what you do, not who you know.
Below is the letter I sent to First Minister Nicola Sturgeon:
The recent revelations that a former SNP advisor brokered the meeting between T in the Park representatives and Scottish ministers which resulted in a £150,000 state aid package being granted are deeply unsettling.
Any indication of cronyism degrades integrity in government so this matter must be treated with the gravity it deserves.
The principles of the ministerial code state that all ministers have a duty to act and take decisions impartially, fairly and on merit, using the best evidence and without discrimination or bias.
We need to know that any abuse of power will not be tolerated by the Scottish Government. That is why I am asking you to investigate whether the Culture Secretary broke the ministerial code in this deal.
The Scottish Government must commit to an open investigation into these damaging revelations if we are to have confidence that that this arrangement was undertaken with the same scrutiny afforded to a small business or social enterprise applying for state aid.
I am sure you will agree that at the very least, people deserve for their government to be fully transparent on how such funds are distributed.
Leader of the Scottish Liberal Democrats