THE Scottish Conservatives have claimed that the "stink of corruption is growing” over the SNP government's ferry fiasco.

The comment comes after The Herald on Sunday revealed details of a damning internal analysis from Caledonian Maritime Assets Limited over the two vessels being built in state-owned Ferguson Marine. 

READ MOREFerguson Marine: Shipyard bosses fear £250m ferries will never be used amidst spiralling series of serious faults

The report revealed that the number of faults that remain outstanding on the ferries has risen from 166 before nationalisation to 237 in March. Some 65 per cent of them relate to safety, maintainability, or specification requirements.

A second document produced on behalf of the shipyard suggested CMAL might even have no choice but to reject the ferries. 

Scottish Conservative shadow transport secretary Liam Kerr said: "The SNP's mishandling of the ferries is a national scandal and the stink of corruption is growing.

"Years late and massively over budget, it now appears CMAL could reject Glen Sannox and Hull 802.

"Under scrutiny at Holyrood last week, Nicola Sturgeon's attempts to push all the blame on to a former minister reeked of desperation.

"Meanwhile, islanders can't get to work, hospital or get on with life as normal.

"The people of Scotland deserve answers and they deserve a public inquiry into this sordid mess."

Officially, Glen Sannox and the as-yet-unnamed Hull 802 will be delayed until at least next year – over five years later than planned while costs have at least doubled from £97m to £250m.

A CMAL spokesman said: “We are confident that outstanding issues can and will be rectified, and the vessels completed to enter service. 

"The appointment of a permanent chief executive at the shipyard has been a welcome development, and we have further strengthened collaboration between our senior teams via the secondment of our senior vessels project director, which will provide added experience and expertise and improve decision making. We will continue to work in partnership and remain committed to the completion of the two ferries.”

A spokesman for Ferguson Marine said: “We are aware of legacy issues and as such have factored them into the amended plan being driven by the new CEO with the support of management and working closely with workforce representatives and CMAL to ensure high standards of workmanship, health & safety compliance, and morale.”

A Scottish Government spokesman said: “The Economy Secretary has been crystal clear on what she expects from Ferguson Marine in terms of delivering the ferries, as well as turning the business around to be competitive.

“Until those vessels are serving the communities for which they were built, we will not let up in our drive and determination to get them finished and delivered. The Board recognises that and has been driving that improvement process within the business.

“A senior member of CMAL staff has recently been seconded to Ferguson Marine management to support delivery of the vessels and resolve any outstanding issues. Working alongside the new Chief Executive, this has driven significant improvements already.

“We remain fully committed to completing these vessels, and it is important that the workforce at Fergusons also know that we remain committed to this work.”