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MoD hit back at MSP’s Penman claims

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By Abbey Morton
Dumfries and West
MoD hit back at MSP’s Penman claims

MINISTRY of Defence bosses have strongly denied allegations that they contributed to the demise of Penman Engineering.

It comes after South Scotland MSP Joan McAlpine this week blasted the UK Government for being ‘slow in paying up’ and ‘failing to proceed with a promised contract’ for the Heathhall firm.
But the MoD has said the politician’s accusations are not true and that they have never been slow or late in making payments.
Raising the matter, Ms McAlpine said: “While I understand that the money owed to Penman by the MoD is not large in the context of £3 million of debts, it is disgraceful that the UK Government has been slow in paying up.
“More significantly I understand that the MoD failed to proceed with a promised contract.
“The MoD has been a major source of work for Penman in the recent past and they have the opportunity to help secure the future even at this late stage.
“The promise of work from the MoD would surely encourage buyers and help get the indebted company on to a more secure footing.”
Responding to Ms McAlpine’s comments, an MoD spokesman explained contracts between themselves and Penman were open and were not terminated when the company announced it was in administration.
The spokesman said: “It’s wrong to suggest that the MOD has failed to pay Penman.
“Our thoughts are with all of those who have been affected by what has happened at the company.”
Ms McAlpine has written to Defence Minister Harriet Baldwin MP, demanding she intervene.
And also commented that a request from council leader Ronnie Nicholson for the Scottish Government to rescue Penman would be ‘unprecedented’.
She said: “Defence is entirely reserved to the United Kingdom Government.
“I have written to Scottish Government ministers and I know they were working very hard with Scottish Enterprise and the administrators to tackle the situation at Penman and find a buyer.
“However, the power over defence lies at Westminster and it is the UK Government who could if they wished turn this situation around.”

Front, Lockerbie and Lochmaben

17th May

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