Scottish Labour has been left red faced after it emerged the party handed hundreds of thousands of pounds to the same arms firm it claimed should not have received money from the Scottish government.
Leader Richard Leonard called a recent meeting between a Scottish government minister and Raytheon Systems “deeply disturbing”. Leonard accused the SNP of saying one thing at Westminster and “doing another at Holyrood”.
Leonards remarks were a reference to an anti-SNP smear story run by the Scottish media that highlighted grants awarded to the company by Nicola Sturgeon’s administration. Raytheon Systems’ Glenrothes facility has been linked to bombs that killed civilians in Yemen.
It has since emerged that the cash given to Raytheon Glenrothes was to help the company move into non-military areas. Official government documents describe the company as seeking to “diversify into civilian applications”.
However in an embarrassing twist for Labour in Scotland, it has now emerged that last year the party handed Raytheon a whopping £407,000. Raytheon UK was awarded the cash by the Labour run Welsh Government to help establish the Broughton Airfield as a Centre of Excellence.
The site designs and services military aircraft including long-range RAF spy planes, which work over Syria and Iraq. In all, the Welsh Labour government has invested one million pounds in the facility.
In 2007, during a trip to America, Labour’s then First Minister Carwyn Jones praised the arms firm, calling it: “a growing company bringing highly-skilled jobs to Wales and exporting its defence systems across the globe.”
The revelations come on top of news that Scottish Labour itself was once a recipient of donations from Raytheon. The firm was listed as an official contributor to the party in 1998.
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