JOHN Swinney has issued a profuse apology for misleading parliament - after effectively accusing a Tory MSP of doing the same thing.

The former deputy First Minister and Finance Secretary said Douglas Lumsden had given “wholly incorrect” information to the Holyrood chamber in a member’s debate last night.

Mr Swinney has now admitted that he was wrong and Mr Lumsden was correct.

Discussing the threatened Dewars Centre in Perth, Mr Lumsden said Westminster had recently provided an additional pot of funding that could be used to save such facilities. 

He said the minister representing the Scottish Government at the debate, Maree Todd, seemed to “not understand” that this extra money had been received after the annual block grant allocation, and so could be used more flexibly.

Mr Lumsden, a North East list MSP, said: “This was additional, so it could actually be moved to local authorities to save our local sports facilities.”

As Ms Todd launched a scattergun attack on Tory policies such as the bedroom tax, Mr Swinney intervened to “advise parliament” about the funding pot.

He said: “I think for the sake of completeness that I need to advise parliament that Mr Lumsden is wholly incorrect.

“The allocation of funding for the Swimming Pools fund was made at the United Kingdom budget in October of 2022, and therefore formed part of the block grant which I distributed in December 2022.

"So Mr Lumsden is wholly wrong in what he’s just put to the minister.”

Ms Todd replied: “Absolutely.”

However Mr Swinney had been mistaken, and Ms Todd didn’t appear to know it.

The former Finance Secretary last night wrote to Presiding Officer Alison Johnstone admitting he had been wrong and Mr Lumsden had been right. 

He wrote: “In the Members’ Debate this evening, I intervened on the Minister to state that a comment made by Douglas Lumsden MSP, that funding from the UK Swimming Poll Fund was additional to the previous funding by the UK Government, was incorrect.

“I have now realised that I was in fact incorrect and the funding was allocated in March 2023, and not October 2022 which I stated, which makes Mr Lumsden’s point correct.

“I would like to apologise for the error I have made and express ny apology to Mr Lumsden, to who this letter is copied. 

“I am also sending a copy of this letter ot the Minister for Social Care, Mental Health and Sport, the Minister for Parliamentary Business and other Business Managers along with Alex Cole-Hamilton MSP.”

Tory MSP Murdo Fraser said Mr Swinney had been "so desperate to put down a Scottish Tory MSP that he just makes things up".