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Metals firm handed £586m Scottish Government support package facing court bankruptcy fight

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A metals firm that was handed a £586million ­ Scottish Government ­support package to buy a Highland smelter is facing a court bankruptcy fight.

Taxpayers could be hit with ­crippling losses if businessman Sanjeev Gupta’s GFG Alliance goes under as a result of the controversial deal signed by SNP ministers.

The company, given massive state support to buy metal and power plants in Lanarkshire and Fort William, is now at the ­centre of a fraud investigation and it could be ­liquidated if it loses a court ­battle with creditors.The Sunday Mail revealed last year that then rural economy secretary Fergus Ewing could have broken conduct rules by attending a dinner with Gupta at a top Glasgow ­restaurant.He dined with no officials ­present and failed to have notes taken – a strict rule included in the ministerial code when on government business.It came after Ewing struck a complex financial deal to allow GFG to buy a smelter in ­Lochaber, near Fort William, and a ­Highlands hydro plant from Rio Tinto in 2016.The size of the financial ­guarantee given by the Scottish Government to ­facilitate the purchase going ahead was originally about £360million of public money but it later ballooned to £586million.Opposition politicians reacted with fury to news of the ­bankruptcy ­proceedings and demanded that First Minister Nicola Sturgeon “comes clean” over the decision to risk taxpayers’ cash on GFG.Labour finance spokesman Daniel Johnson MSP said: “It is the ­earnings of hard-working ­taxpayers that are at risk because of the SNP’s ­agreement with GFG.“We have seen Fraud Office raids, investigations and now ­liquidation ­proceedings but we are still no clearer what ­assessment the SNP ­Government made before ploughing billions of

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