THE chairman of Unionist forum These Islands has apologised to the Finance Secretary after posting a blog post calling her claim about Barnett consequentials from the Chancellor’s spending package “a lie”.

After last week’s summer statement, Kate Forbes said Scotland would receive £21 million in Barnett consequentials – Unionist figures immediately suggested she was wrong, with Kevin Hague calling her claim “misleading and inaccurate”.

However the Institute for Fiscal Studies reported yesterday that the £21m figure cited by the Finance Secretary was correct.

READ MORE: Kate Forbes proved right over £21m budget pledge row

Hague’s blog post “dissecting” Forbes’s £21m figure was still pinned to his Twitter profile this morning – but he has since updated it with an apology.

The These Islands chairman wrote that as he cares about accuracy, he has updated the post.

Writing this morning, Hague said: “I still have issues with the tweet – the implication that £21m is all Scotland is getting, the fact she uses £30bn as the denominator (“of the £30bn) when most of the £30bn is UK-wide spend anyway and the fact that she ignore [sic] the block grant adjustment impact of the SDLT cut – but knowing what we now know about the way the Treasury recycled already committed spending to make it look like new spending, I think I was wrong to label the tweet a ‘simple lie’ and offer my apologies to Kate Forbes for doing so.”

He had written in the post that some spending was “accelerating investment” and some was “previously announced”, adding that it was possible the Barnett consequentials had already been included in previous announcements.

In his updated version, he continued: “Whilst I was right, there’s no doubt that when writing I was assuming that some rather than all of these figures had already been announced.

“So mea culpa, I fell in the same trap as the IFS.”

He went on to write that given the IFS report’s conclusions, he does not think it’s “unreasonable” for Forbes to select the £21m figure as the “Scot Gov gets” number.

He added that in an “ideal world” her tweet would have also made clear that this was the only “new” money the Scottish Government would get from Westminster. However he said it would be “inconsistent” for him to hold Forbes to a higher standard than the UK Treasury.

READ MORE: Kevin Hague embarrassed as IFS finds Forbes was right about £21m

“It’s their attempt to pass recycled money off as new that’s caused the confusion and provided her with cover,” Hague wrote.

MSP Paul Wheelhouse had also called on Scottish Tory Murdo Fraser to apologise to the Finance Secretary for implying she had her figures wrong.

While the MSP did not himself issue an apology, he reposted Hague’s updated blog and added: “As I retweeted the original @kevverage blog about @KateForbesMSP its only fair to retweet this too.”