The case for a full parliamentary inquiry into the Forth Road Bridge closure was strengthened today after the SNP Transport Minister admitted key repair work was cancelled in 2010.

Speaking on BBC Radio Scotland’s Good Morning Scotland programme, Derek Mackay admitted that key repair work cancelled in 2010 would have replaced the damaged section that forced the closure of the Forth Road Bridge last week. This directly contradicts Mr Mackay’s claim in Parliament yesterday that the works identified in 2010 did not cover the fault area.

Yesterday Scottish Labour called for a full parliamentary inquiry into what went wrong and the decisions that led to the closure. On BBC’s Scotland 2015 programme last night, Derek Mackay said the SNP Government would co-operate with any parliamentary inquiry.

Alex Rowley is today writing to Jim Eadie MSP, Convener of the Infrastructure and Capital Investment Committee, asking him to initiate a parliamentary committee.

Scottish Labour Deputy Leader and Fife MSP Alex Rowley said:

“Derek Mackay’s extraordinary comments confirm exactly why we need a full parliamentary inquiry into what has gone wrong with the bridge. For an SNP Minister to admit that cancelled repair works would have replaced the damaged section of the bridge as far back as 2010 raises many more questions about the actions of the government.

In recent days Nicola Sturgeon dismissed suggestions that cancelled repair works were linked to the bridge closure, but now Derek Mackay is saying something different.

The Forth Road Bridge is one of the most important transport links in Scotland, it is crucial for the East of Scotland economy. Thousands of people are experiencing major disruption to their journeys, and businesses all across Fife are losing out because of the bridge closure. They deserve to know exactly what went wrong here.

After eight years in government the SNP need to be held accountable for their decisions and with a majority in parliament there is no excuse for them not to back our call for a parliamentary inquiry.

This is a serious issue that requires full transparency. No stone should be left unturned.”