The Tory party has been snubbed ahead of a public meeting planned to discuss union calls for the nationalisation of lifeline ferry services.
The RMT says it will “not share a platform” with the Conservatives, following a decision to exclude Highlands and Islands MSP Jamie Halcro Johnston from the list.
Mr Halcro Johnston has hit back at the decision, arguing Scotland’s “main opposition party” has wrongfully been excluded from the discussions, which is due to take place in Orkney next month.
Scottish government Transport Minister, Humza Yousaf, has been invited to the meeting in Kirkwall on 7th February, along with Highland and Islands MSPs, Labour’s David Stewart and Green Party member John Finnie.
Managing director of Serco NorthLink, Stuart Garrett, has also been asked to attend, as well as a number of Orkney-based politicians, including the Liberal Democrat MSP Liam McArthur.
We’ve invited a broad spectrum of MSPs. Tory party policy is clearly the privatisation of tenders. We know his view. We don’t need them. GORDON MARTIN
The meeting is being held as part of the RMT’s so-called Nationalise NorthLink campaign.
RMT spokesman Gordon Martin told this newspaper: “We’ll not be sharing a platform with Tories, that’s for sure.
“We’ve invited a broad spectrum of MSPs. Tory party policy is clearly the privatisation of tenders. We know his view. We don’t need them.
“We want the local MSP and list MSPs representing parties that may have a range of views. But we know, from experience, the Tory point of view.”
Mr Halcro Johnston said Scotland’s main opposition party had been excluded from the discussions.
“It’s extremely disappointing that the RMT appears to have chosen to exclude Scotland’s main opposition party by failing to invite any representatives from the Scottish Conservatives to this closed-doors meeting.”
• More reaction and background in Friday’s Shetland Times.