ALBA have claimed a campaign poster calling for Scotland’s ferries to be built in Scotland has been stolen just a few days after being put up near the Ferguson Marine shipyard.

The party’s general secretary Chris McEleny has raised concerns the large poster – attached to a tree with cable ties – may have been removed by Labour-run Inverclyde Council and has written to bosses to see if this is the case.

Alba are campaigning to demand that the Scottish Government directly award future ferry contracts to the shipyard in Port Glasgow.

The shipyard was taken into public ownership four years ago after its financial collapse following long delays and mounting costs over the delivery of two ferries, the Glen Sannox and Glen Rosa.

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The vessels are six years late and have gone hundreds of millions of pounds overbudget. 

But Alba argue that if the Scottish Government does not award new CalMac ferries that are due to go out to tender directly to Ferguson’s, the consequence will be its “political choice” to close the shipyard. 

The party was made aware its campaign poster – displaying the message “Scotland’s ferries built in Scotland” with Alba’s logo - had disappeared on Saturday morning and police have been informed.

McEleny said: “It is bitterly disappointing someone has decided to steal this poster.

“I do not know which rational person, political party, or organisation would not agree that Scottish ferries should be built in Scotland to support local jobs, our local economy and to ensure skills stay in the area. 

“I have contacted Inverclyde Council asking them if they were responsible for the removal of this poster and to demand that if they were who instructed them to do so.”

Alba are also set to deliver a petition on Scotland’s ferries to households across the Port Glasgow area. 

The party claims that with the Glen Sannox now on sea trials and its sister ship the Glen Rosa due to be launched out of the yard soon, there will be no work left at the yard and it would face closure without the award of public contracts issued by Government-owned CMAL.

The Glen Sannox – which will one day take passengers to and from Arran – completed her first sea trials last month which were reported to be “overwhelmingly positive”.

Systems tested so far include the main engines, generators, thrusters, engines full astern/fast stops and communications.

Inverclyde Council has been contacted for comment.