A ministerial group chaired by the First Minister and designed to guide the strategy for growing the economy has never convened, MSPs have learned.

The economic leadership group was supposed to unify key cabinet members and the president of the local government organisation Cosla under the First Minister’s direction.

This group was integral to the National Strategy for Economic Transformation (NSET), a 10-year plan launched in March 2022 by Kate Forbes, the new Deputy First Minister, when she served as finance and economy secretary.

Forbes had made a promise then that the Government would “provide clear and decisive leadership”, and announced: “The task of transforming our economy requires an equally radical transformation in the way we deliver results.”

Audit Scotland, however, recently pointed to a “gap in collective political leadership” as the Scottish Government has still not set up the group.

Speaking to Holyrood’s Public Audit Committee, Gregor Irwin, the Scottish Government’s director-general for the economy, admitted on Thursday: “It is absolutely true the economic leadership group has not met as originally planned.”

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