Salmond in political storm over Doosan pull out

Scottish National Party leader, Alex Salmond has come in for strong criticism for allegedly creating the impression that a wind technology project was going ahead, when he had been informed in December that Korean-based Doosan had opted not to proceed.

MSPs are now demanding to know why the SNP leader failed to inform the Scottish Parliament that the £170m ($274m) research centre and turbine factory were shelved.

Alex Salmond

Despite being informed in December, the decision was not made public until this week and it emerged yesterday that MSPs have twice in 2012 debated a report on the SNP’s spending plans that contains a reference to the Doosan project.

The Daily Telgraph reported that Mr Salmond and his ministers have this year continued to name check the company as they sought to reject accusations that the independence referendum is causing economic uncertainty.

Scottish Labour Minister Johann Lamont has accused the SNP leader of suppressing the news in order to maintain political advantage before the 2014 Scottish referendum.

“If he will suppress serious issues like the Doosan investment before the local elections, goodness knows what he will conceal before the referendum. After this, how can any of us believe a word the First Minister says?”

Mr Salmond and the company have denied reports ministers requested the information be kept under wraps until after next month’s council elections.

But Mrs Lamont pointed to his administration’s report on the spending review and draft budget for the current financial year, which highlighted the company’s “investment of £170 million in Scottish wind power over the next ten years.”

This was published last September, before Doosan decided to withdraw, but its contents were debated in the Scottish Parliament on January 25 and February 8.

Neither Mr Salmond nor John Swinney, his Finance Minister, said anything about the company cancelling because of the European sovereign debt crisis.

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