Scottish Secretary Alister Jack has said he is concerned the Scottish Government ferry fiasco has led to ministers misusing taxpayers’ money.

The comment came after the SNP-Green administration pushed ahead with plans to build a second ferry at the Ferguson Marine shipyard, despite officials warning it would be cheaper to tender for a new one.

Neil Gray, the minister for wellbeing economy, told Holryood on Tuesday he would sign a “letter of comfort” so that government could proceed with the delayed, over-budget hull 802, even though the project had failed the value for money test in the due diligence assessment.

READ MORE: Minister says there's no 'blank cheque' over ferries crisis

He said there was a “wider economic case” of supporting island communities and commercial shipbuilding on the Clyde, while opting for a new vessel would mean waiting until May 2027 at the earliest. 

In the Commons on Wednesday, Labour’s shadow Scotland minister Liz Twist asked Alister Jack if he agreed that the Scottish Government was “misusing taxpayer’s money while the islands are left without transport connections?”

The Scottish Secretary replied: “I certainly do.”

READ MORE: ScotGov grants £60m+ extra spend on fiasco ferries despite value fail

Earlier, the Scottish Tory leader Douglas Ross had asked Mr Jack if he believed that islanders had been abandoned. 

“Island communities have been terribly let down by the Scottish Government,” the Scottish Secretary replied. “Ministers should always spend taxpayers' money efficiently even if it means losing face.”

SNP members pushed the Tory frontbencher on the UK Government’s plans to curb the Scottish Government’s dealings with governments overseas. 

Last month, the Foreign Office wrote to all UK heads of mission to insist that all meetings involving ministers in Edinburgh and overseas governments must be organised through them and attended by UK officials.