Politics

Jason Leitch criticised for defending Nicola Sturgeon over face masks fallout as police assess criticism


It comes as Police Scotland is at the moment assessing a criticism after footage confirmed her apparently breaching Scotland’s Covid face masks regulation on the council election marketing campaign path.

A video posted on social media seems to point out Scotland’s First Minister not carrying a masks throughout a go to to a barber’s in East Kilbride, South Lanarkshire, on Saturday.

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The occasion passed off earlier than the authorized requirement to put on a face overlaying was scrapped from Easter Monday onwards.

The National Clinical Director Jason Leitch has been criticised for defending Nicola Sturgeon after she was pictured in a barber store with no face masks.

Speaking on BBC Good Morning Scotland this morning, Professor Leitch stated the First Minister’s actions have been “actually what we’re asking people to do”, including the First Minister realised inside “a matter of seconds” she needed to put a face overlaying on.

Defending Ms Sturgeon, Professor Leitch stated: “’I’ve done that too, I’ve got up from the dinner table quite recently out for a meal, gone to the bathroom and halfway there you realise, ‘Oh, I need to put my face covering on’.

“Because it does still feel like a slightly odd thing to have to do. My understanding of that incident – I haven’t spoken to the First Minister today, I imagine I’ll speak to her later – my understanding is it was a matter of seconds, she realises the place is crowded, puts her face covering on, which is actually what we’re asking people to do.

“The guidance says if you are in a crowded area, inadvertently or deliberately, then put a face covering on and that will protect you and others.”

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Criticising Professor Leitch, The Scottish Conservatives have stated his remarks have been “inappropriate” for him to make as a civil servant.

Scottish Conservative MSP, Craig Hoy stated: “It is inappropriate for a civil servant to defend Nicola Sturgeon on this means. These sorts of questions ought to be left to politicians to reply. Instead, SNP ministers are in hiding and Jason Leith is blurring the traces between ministers and authorities officers.”

The Scottish Conservatives also accused Professor Leitch of “misrepresenting” the Covid laws that were in place at the time.

Mr Hoy added: “Face masks use was nonetheless in regulation till right this moment however Mr Leitch backed up Nicola Sturgeon’s excuse that she solely needed to put the masks on when in a crowded area.

“If the SNP had listened to us weeks ago and changed face mask rules from law to guidance, he and Nicola Sturgeon would have been correct.

“But they failed to do that and Mr Leitch shouldn’t be complicated the general public, or doing the SNP’s job for them, by making an attempt to defend Nicola Sturgeon on this method.”

An SNP spokesman stated: “The First Minister was invited into the barber’s during an outdoor visit on the street.

“Within a few seconds, she realised she hadn’t put her mask back on and immediately put it on.”

Those who breach the face covering rules can face a fine of up to £60.

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