Page last updated at 17:46 GMT, Wednesday, 30 June 2010 18:46 UK

Scottish Parliament

Education Secretary Michael Russell defended his decision to sanction a secret loan to the private company behind last year's Gathering in Edinburgh.

Mr Russell, who was culture minister at the time, insisted he had acted in the best interests of Scotland and that it would have been "catastrophic" if the event had collapsed, during a ministerial statement on 30 June 2010.

The minister told MSPs Scotland would have missed out on over £10m in tourism cash, if the loan had not been given to the company.

The Gathering Ltd later went bust and opposition MSPs claimed the Scottish government had failed to run full checks on their finances before agreeing the loan.

The issue will now be examined in detail by Holyrood's Public Audit Committee.

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