NICOLA Sturgeon was pressed by Douglas Ross over a missing document relating to the Ferguson ferries contact, saying it “wasn’t withheld, it wasn’t prepared”.

The First Minister was asked multiple times by the Scottish Tory leader where the document had gone, with Ross accusing the Scottish Government of an “almighty cover up”.

The document in question is a formal recording of the decision to proceed with the final contract award to Ferguson Marine, relating to the two delayed and over-budget CalMac ferries.

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Ross said that a “vital link is missing” and accused the FM of "having a memory like a sieve".

However, the FM pointed out in the chamber that there are over 200 documents relating to the contract on the Scottish Government website.

She also said that there was nothing that the government had withheld, citing evidence given by the Auditor General to MSPs last week, and insisted that people can still follow the “chain of events” through the existing documents online.

Ross began his questions by claiming the FM was “full of excuses” over the document, adding “last week she said a big boy did it and ran away, now a dog’s eaten her homework, these excuses wouldn’t cut it in a Primary School classroom”.

Ross then asked where the document was. The FM cited the 200 publicly-available documents, with 1500 pages worth of evidence relating to the awarding of the contract.

The FM said that the Auditor General had said that the “judgement not been withheld, rather an important piece of documentation was not prepared”.

She added: “So there is one link in the chain that is missing, but you can still very clearly follow the chain of events, something that Douglas Ross clearly hasn’t even tried to do.”

Ross asked again where the document had gone in a follow up question, to which the FM responded: “The document would have been an email or a note saying the minister was content on the basis of the reasons set out.”

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She added that this was set out in a public document where Transport Scotland noted that ministers were content and aware of the risks of awarding the contract on October 9, the day after the missing document should have been logged.

Ross then asked how many shipyard workers are under gagging orders and if the FM would lift them.

The FM replied that non-disclosure agreements the Scottish government negotiated with the previous owners FMel to ensure the release of workers from confidentiality terms and conditions.

She added that her government will encourage everyone to co-operate with any future investigations or inquiries.

After FMQs, Justice Secretary Keith Brown - who reportedly signed off the disastrous deal in his previous ministerial role - was ambushed by reporters and refused to say if he was the signatory.