Covid families’ fury at Nicola Sturgeon as emails prove SNP’s ‘obsession with breaking up the UK’ guided its handling of deadly pandemic as it played game of ‘political one-upmanship’ while people died

Covid families’ fury at Nicola Sturgeon as emails prove SNP’s ‘obsession with breaking up the UK’ guided its handling of deadly pandemic as it played game of ‘political one-upmanship’ while people died

Nicola Sturgeon stays on the centre of a Covid storm immediately after revelations that her Scottish authorities let its ‘obsession’ with independence information its pandemic insurance policies.

The previous First Minister was berated by political opponents and the households of the bereaved after shedding what had been branded ‘crocodile tears’ on the official Covid inquiry in Edinburgh.

The inquiry was proven damning emails from Ms Sturgeon’s deputy, John Swinney, wherein he recommended including Spain to a listing of countries exempted from Covid restrictions as a way to get its help for an unbiased Scotland becoming a member of the EU.

The bombshell e mail got here after Ms Sturgeon repeatedly choked up as she insisted she had not sought to weaponise the pandemic for her independence trigger. 

She argued that the choice to maintain Spain on the protected record a day later was made on ‘public well being grounds’, fairly than with EU membership in thoughts. Nonetheless, quarantine necessities for travellers from Spain had been reinstated six days afterward July 26 as instances rose sharply. 

Scottish Conservative chief Douglas Ross mentioned: ‘She claimed she was offended by solutions that the SNP’s independence obsession entered into her decision-making – but we noticed from Liz Lloyd’s messages, minutes of a June 2020 cupboard assembly and the explosive e mail on Spain journey restrictions that it was entrance and centre of her authorities’s thoughts.’

And Peter McMahon, who misplaced his spouse Debbie to the virus, added: ‘They selected to show the struggle towards Covid right into a recreation of political one-upmanship with the UK Authorities.

A bombshell e mail proven on the inquiry confirmed Nicola Sturgeon’s deputy raised considerations about placing Spain below journey restrictions as a result of ‘there is a risk they are going to by no means approve EU membership for an unbiased Scotland consequently’ 

John Swinney

Nicola Sturgeon

The message from John Swinney in July 2020 was highlighted as Ms Sturgeon gave proof on the official inquiry 

Ms Sturgeon repeatedly choked up as she insisted she had not sought to weaponise the pandemic for her independence cause

Ms Sturgeon repeatedly choked up as she insisted she had not sought to weaponise the pandemic for her independence trigger

‘Each the UK and Scottish Governments ought to dangle their heads in disgrace for doing this.

‘They performed a recreation of Russian roulette with all of our lives however the gun was by no means pointed at their very own heads.’

Dr Cathy Mitchell, who misplaced her mom Jennifer in a nursing dwelling in April 2020, mentioned she was uninterested in the previous chief’s ‘obfuscation’, including: ‘In her written assertion she has mentioned clearly that no choices she made had any political bias.

‘She acknowledged that each one info that would presumably be related and of curiosity to any member of the Scottish public has been made obtainable to that inquiry.

‘We all know from proof already given to the inquiry by people comparable to Liz Lloyd, this isn’t the reality. And all I can say is her interpretation of the reality should differ from mine.’

The message showing to be from John Swinney’s account in July 2020 was highlighted as Ms Sturgeon gave proof on the official inquiry.

The intervention got here as senior figures within the Scottish authorities thought of whether or not rising instances in Spain meant it ought to be faraway from the record of protected nations.

The e-mail learn: ‘It will not matter how a lot ministers would possibly justify it on well being grounds, the Spanish authorities will conclude it’s solely political; they will not neglect; there’s a actual risk they are going to by no means approve EU membership for an unbiased Scotland consequently.’ 

After the e-mail was flagged on the listening to, the Scottish authorities contacted the inquiry concerning the e mail final night time and mentioned in a press release that it was written by ‘a civil servant and never the Deputy First Minister himself, or anybody in his workplace or speaking on his behalf’. 

Ms Sturgeon repeatedly appeared on the verge of tears throughout a bruising session on the official inquiry, admitting {that a} ‘massive half’ of her wished she had not been in cost through the pandemic.

The emotional second got here after Ms Sturgeon acknowledged that messages concerning the pandemic response had not been saved.

Regardless of being proven examples of discussions which have survived regarding key insurance policies on restrictions, she insisted all vital issues had been handled ‘formally’.

However she admitted that ‘maybe should not have’ given Professor Devi Sridhar a separate SNP e mail deal with to contact her on.

She was additionally pressured to dismiss criticism for purchasing what have been described as ‘burner’ telephones on Parliamentary bills, insisting they merely had been for employees who working from dwelling.

Ms Sturgeon argued that that the temper within the Scottish authorities had been ‘severe, purposeful and collegiate’ – rejecting solutions she noticed the disaster as a method of furthering her ‘mission’ of breaking apart the UK.

Requested by inquiry counsel Jamie Dawson about her expertise of the pandemic, Ms Sturgeon choked up saying in some ways she wished she had not been in Bute Home on the time.

She mentioned her intention had been to be the ‘greatest First Minister I may very well be’, flatly denying that she noticed the state of affairs as a ‘political alternative’.

‘It’s for others to evaluate whether or not I succeeded,’ she added.

Ms Sturgeon initially mentioned her WhatsApp messages ‘weren’t retained’.

However the KC continued: ‘Did you delete them?’

Ms Sturgeon mentioned: ‘Sure, within the method I’ve set out.’

The proof classes started after Ms Sturgeon was heckled on arrival on the venue in Edinburgh, the place the probe is sitting because it considers Scottish points.

The SNP MSP was greeted with shouts of ‘the place are your WhatsApps’ and ‘extra deaths’.

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