A TORY MSP is facing criticism for hosting one of the world’s biggest arms dealers at a Holyrood reception tomorrow.

Ayr MSP John Scott is hosting a reception for trade body Aerospace, Defence and Security Group (ADS Scotland) which is being sponsored by Lockheed Martin – the world’s biggest arms producer, which last year saw sales top $44.9 billion.

According to the ADS website, the Celebrating Scotland’s Opportunities in the Space Sector event will bring companies, industry stakeholders and Scottish parliamentarians together to “celebrate Scotland’s contribution to the UK space sector and the companies based within the region”.

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Nik Smith, UK country director at Lockheed Martin Space; and Stuart Gallacher, BAE Systems and ADS Scotland chairman, are due to address the gathering.

Both BAE and Lockheed Martin have been criticised in recent years for their involvement in the war in Yemen.

Last year 44 schoolboys aged between six and 11 years old were on a field trip in the Yemen governorate of Saada when they were killed after their bus was destroyed by a Saudi-led airstrike. The bomb was built by Lockheed Martin.

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Andrew Smith of Campaign Against Arms Trade said: “Lockheed Martin and BAE Systems have armed and supported human rights abusers and dictatorships around the world.

“Over the last four and a half years, their weapons have been used to inflict terrible atrocities and abuses on Yemen.

“It is totally wrong for MSPs to invite these companies to use the Scottish Parliament as a platform and a propaganda vehicle for their appalling business.”

A Tory spokesman defended the event. He said: “These types of receptions are held on a regular basis at Holyrood and are routinely attended by MSPs from across all parties.

“This particular event was held to promote opportunities in the multi-billion pound space industry for Scottish businesses.”