A LABOUR-run council has denied taking down an Alba campaign poster arguing for Scotland's ferries to be built in Scotland. 

Alba wrote to Inverclyde Council after the large sign attached to a tree with cable ties near the Ferguson Marine yard in Port Glasgow was removed within a few days of being put up. 

But the chief executive of the council Louise Long has confirmed to Alba general secretary Chris McEleny that the local authority did not arrange to have it taken down.

The party is campaigning to demand that the Scottish Government directly award future ferry contracts to the shipyard.

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In an email seen by The National, Long said: “We have spoken to the supervisors, and they have confirmed that they did not arrange to have the signage removed.

“We have no knowledge of its whereabouts.”

Council leader Stephen McCabe posted a tweet to say the Labour administration “fully supports a direct award of the small ferries contract to Ferguson’s” and denied there had been any political interference on the matter.

Sharing McEleny’s comments, he said: “I hope you aren't inferring there was some sort of political interference here?

“The Labour Administration fully supports a direct award of the small ferries contract to Fergusons. There is a local by-law however that prohibits political posters on council property.”

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.

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.

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