SNP finance spokesperson dragged into Coatbridge College cronyism row

The SNP’s finance spokesperson at Westminster has been dragged into the row regarding pay-offs for senior staff at Coatbridge College.

Roger Mullin, the SNP’s Treasury Spokesperson, in his previous role as a Scottish Government advisor, has been accused of in effect forcing early redundancy upon the college principal John Doyle. The claims are made in the evidence submission by former Depute Principal at Coatbridge College, Margaret Rose Livingstone.

Seven staff at the former Coatbridge College shared £849,842 in pay offs. Auditor General Caroline Gardner said there was evidence that the principal and chair of the board had worked together and withheld concerns over the payments.

Scottish Labour Public Services spokesperson Dr Richard Simpson said:

“Scotland’s colleges should be the envy of the world. Everyone, regardless of postcode or privilege should be able to access the skills they need to get on in life.

The Coatbridge College row is now descending into farce. Now we are seeing the SNP’s Westminster finance spokesperson arguing with senior staff over who is responsible for six figure pay offs.

SNP MP Roger Mullin should appear before the Public Audit Committee to clarify what role he had in the Coatbridge College case, as well as give evidence on these reforms across the country.

Colleges mergers are one of the few public sector reforms undertaken by this SNP Government and it has been an absolute shambles. It became clear that other principals or senior staff in other colleges may have received similar enhanced payments the basis for which is as yet unclear.

There are 140,000 fewer college students because of the SNP cuts, whilst senior staff and SNP squabble over who is responsible for eye-watering golden goodbyes. The SNP asked to be judged on their record, for young people that record means less opportunity.”

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