Jim McColl, the former owner of the shipyard firm at the centre of Scotland's ferry fiasco has said he would take it over again - a week after ministers confirmed there was a plan to denationalise.

Last week Neil Gray, cabinet secertary for wellbeing economy, fair work and energy confirmed that there is an intention for taxpayer-supported Ferguson Marine to be placed back into private ownership.

Ferguson Marine was taken over by the Scottish Government four years ago after its financial collapse under the control of Mr McColl as a row erupted over long delays and mounting costs over the delivery of two lifeline ferries.

Glen Sannox and Hull 802 were due online in the first half of 2018 when Ferguson Marine was under the control of Mr McColl, with one initially to serve Arran and the other to serve the Skye triangle routes to North Uist and Harris, but they are at least five years late. The last estimates suggested the costs of delivery could have quadrupled from the original £97m cost.

Earlier this week, ministers were accused of presiding over an “outrageous mismanagement of public funds” after pressing ahead with the second ferry at the Ferguson shipyard, known only as Hull 802, despite learning it would be cheaper to scrap the vessel and tender for a new one.

READ MORE: Ministers do not rule out more public money millions over ferry crisis

Now Mr McColl says that he would take back the yard the yard saying: "I would take it back for £1 and they would need to give me two years' worth of costs so we could keep the workforce there while we built up new orders."

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But he accepts it is unlikely the Scottish Government would take up the offer.

Wellbeing economy secretary Neil Gray rubber stamped a call for £61m from Ferguson Marine for this financial year after eight months of due diligence, which raised question marks over the future of the two lifeline vessels.

He issued a rarely-used ministerial direction to overrule the value for money financial test saying completing the vessel at the nationalised yard was the fastest way of delivering more ferry capacity.

Mr McColl, who rescued the shipyard firm from administration said the decision to continue was correct from a "moral standpoint".

He told the BBC: "They've really dug a big hole for themselves here. They've messed up big time since they took that yard over - and the innocent victims here are the workforce.

"Commercially it's absolutely the wrong decision but it's a tough one because of the human cost involved. But they've created the problem with the human cost and they are going to have to fix it."

The two ferries for CalMac were ordered in 2015 when Ferguson Marine was owned by Jim McColl, a then pro-independence businessman who rescued the Inverclyde yard from administration a year earlier.

When the build ran into trouble, the shipyard firm fell into administration and was nationalised with Mr McColl and the government-owned ferry owning and procurement agency CMAL blaming each other for the fiasco.

A Scottish Government spokesman said: "When we took Fergusons into public ownership in 2019 we did so to ensure the delivery of 801 and 802 and to secure the future of the yard and its workforce.

"We did this because of the vital significance of the vessels to our island communities and the yard and its workforce to the local, regional and national economy."

Ministers say they intend to return Ferguson Marine to the private sectore "when the time is right and when there is the right offer".

The government intends to return Ferguson Marine to the private sector "when the time is right and when there is the right offer", the spokesperson added.