A senior SNP minister is facing a ministerial code investigation over a dinner with banker Lex Greensill and steel billionaire Sanjeev Gupta following a deal that threatens to cost taxpayers hundreds of millions of pounds. Fergus Ewing, the Rural Economy Secretary, dined with the pair and two of their senior colleagues at one of Glasgow's top restaurants in 2017. But a Freedom of Information request (FOI) has revealed that the minister had no officials with him, no notes were taken, and the Government claims to have no emails, texts or phone records about the meeting. The previous year the Scottish Government struck a deal with Mr Gupta, which allowed his GFG Alliance to complete a £330 million purchase of the UK’s last aluminium smelter and hydro power plants in Fort William in 2016. Mr Ewing signed a 25-year guarantee, worth around £300 million, which commits the Scottish Government to buying the plants’ electricity if the smelter shut down. But his firm GFG Alliance is in crisis following the collapse of Greensill Capital, which was his largest financial backer before it went into administration. The ministerial code states that a private secretary or official should be present for all discussions relating to government business, with the basic facts of formal meetings to be recorded, including the reasons for the meeting, attendees and the interests represented. It also states that miniisters who "find themselves discussing official business without an official present " should pass "any significant content" to their private officers "as soon as possible after the event, who should arrange for the basic facts of such meetings to be recorded."