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Sunday, 28 August 2011

Salmond In Firing Line Over Trams Inquiry

First Minister Alex Salmond has been accused of “dragging his feet” over a public inquiry into the controversial Edinburgh trams project.

Last week councillors threw out a proposal to borrow an extra £231million to extend the line to St Andrew Square, meaning trams will now run only from Edinburgh Airport to Haymarket.

Kezia Dugdale, Labour MSP for Lothians, said Salmond had stated in a letter the inquiry would not be started while council discussions were continuing about the future of the project.

She said it was now time to “stop the blame game” and get the inquiry up and running without delay. She added: “A full, independent public inquiry is the only way we can find out exactly how the tram project has been allowed to go so badly wrong.”

However, a spokesman for the First Minister said the Scottish Government would be delighted to have a public inquiry, once there is “greater clarity” about the direction of the project.

The spokesman added: “Labour played politics by ganging up with the Tories and LibDems to force it through in 2007 against the SNP Government’s wishes and, along with the Tories, Labour again played politics to sabotage the LibDems at the council meeting last week.

“No doubt these activities will all be of interest to the inquiry.”

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