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Latest twist on MoU signing

Chinese ‘bribery’ firm is ‘squeaky clean’ says adviser

Sturgeon signs China dealOne of the advisers to the controversial signing of an agreement between the Scottish government and a Chinese consortium has claimed the firm at the centre of bribery allegations is “squeaky clean”.

China Railway No 3 Engineering Group and investment vehicle Sinofortone signed a memorandum of understanding with First Minister Nicola Sturgeon last month which may lead to £10 billion of investment in Scotland.

It was reported earlier this week that the parent company of CR3 had been blacklisted in Norway over allegations of bribery.

But its senior advisor Sir Richard Heygate has dismissed the claims as “crazy”. He told the BBC that China Railway Group was “squeaky clean”.

He indicated that the MoU may lead to 5,000 affordable homes, a biomass plant and railway projects in Scotland.

This goes further than the FM’s claim that no projects were on the table.

The MoU was signed on 21 March, two days before election purdah, but nothing was made public in Scotland. Details emerged in the Chinese media.

There have been claims that the reason for the government’s silence may have been linked to the crisis in the British steel industry. Daily Business understands that any investments from China usually come with conditions to use imported materials.

Sinofortone is investing in two biomass plants in Wales.

 

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