Scotland politics

Committee to send Hyslop fresh T in the Park questions

Fiona Hyslop committee
Image caption Ms Hyslop gave evidence to Holyrood's education and culture committee last week

Holyrood's culture committee is to write to the culture secretary with further questions about government funding for T in the Park festival.

Opposition MSPs had called for Fiona Hyslop to be quizzed for a second time over the £150,000 grant.

The committee instead decided to write to her with follow up questions.

Ms Hyslop gave evidence to the education and culture committee last week, but opposition members claimed her answers were not satisfactory.

Lib Dem, Tory and Labour MSPs wrote to committee convener Stewart Maxwell asking him to recall the minister.

However, the committee unanimously agreed to follow up the evidence session in writing.

Ms Hyslop had insisted funding was appropriate, transparent and in line with amounts given to other events.

Questions were raised over the awarding of the money after it emerged former SNP adviser Jennifer Dempsie set up meetings between the festival's promoters DF Concerts and ministers, including Ms Hyslop, ahead of the application for the funding.

Ms Dempsie was working on a contract for DF Concerts as a project manager on the festival, which moved to a new location at Strathallan this year.

'Busy remit'

Lib Dem Liam McArthur, Tory Liz Smith and Labour members John Pentland and Mark Griffin were the MSPs who signed the letter which has been sent to convener Stewart Maxwell.

They believe Ms Hyslop failed to provide satisfactory answers when she appeared at the parliament last week.

However, the minister believed she had acted properly and the funding from the major events budget had been approved "following a detailed consideration of options" for operational costs associated with the transition to the festival's new site.

Image copyright PA
Image caption The T in the Park festival was held at Strathallan this summer

Mr Pentland said that while the event was something to be proud of, questions still remained unanswered.

He added: "We have seen suggestions that the event would not have been viable, would have to have been a one-day event or would have to have been moved out of Scotland without public cash. None of this seems credible."

A spokesman for Ms Hyslop said: "The education and culture committee's busy remit covers a range of important issues such as school attainment and improving access to childcare - yet opposition parties seem more interested in pursuing conspiracy theories that have already been comprehensively refuted.

"Ms Hyslop has already answered questions from the opposition for well over an hour on this at the committee and stayed on until no members had any questions left to ask.

"She has also answered questions on T in the Park both in writing and in the Scottish Parliament chamber, as well as publishing over 600 pages of relevant documents."

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