Minister forced to sell £30,000 of shares over 'conflict of interest'
A GOVERNMENT minister announced last night that he was to sell his major shareholding in an energy company after facing allegations of a conflict of interest. Stewart Stevenson, the minister responsible for drawing up Scotland's targets on renewable energy, owns £30,000 of shares in ScottishPower - a company with major interests in that area.
The Scotsman approached Mr Stevenson with questions about whether his shareholding breached the ministerial code of conduct. The SNP government spent most of yesterday rejecting any suggestion of a conflict of interest and defending Mr Stevenson's right to continue holding the shares while dealing with ScottishPower as the transport and climate-change minister.