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Sturgeon ducks responsibility on Nike conference scandal

20 May 2020

Nicola Sturgeon has been accused of ducking responsibility after claiming she had nothing to do with keeping details of a coronavirus-hit Nike conference secret.

The First Minister has been under increasing pressure over the summit which took place at the end of February, and resulted in several people being infected with Covid-19.

But despite being keen to be front up the Scottish Government’s response to the pandemic on a daily basis, today she said “it’s not me” in response to who makes the decisions on whether or not to publicise outbreaks.

She wouldn’t even provide an assurance that, should another large-scale public event find itself at the epicentre of a coronavirus outbreak, the SNP wouldn’t keep those details secret too.

Scottish Conservative leader Jackson Carlaw challenged her on the issue at First Minister’s Questions.

He pointed out that, at least week’s FMQs, she stated: “I take responsibility for all aspects of the government’s response,” and that even her “sternest critics” couldn’t say otherwise.

Scottish Conservative leader Jackson Carlaw said:

“For someone who wants to be seen to be taking responsibility, Nicola Sturgeon’s behaviour on this issue is completely unacceptable.

“It seems she’s desperate to hide behind public health officials when it transpires mistakes have been made.

“The First Minister should admit she got this wrong, and that decision could have allowed the virus to spread.

“Instead, she can’t even give a guarantee that it hasn’t happened since, or won’t happen again.

“This is yet another failure by the SNP government in the fight against coronavirus.

“Nicola Sturgeon needs to make her mind up – if she wants to be in charge of this, she needs to take the responsibility which comes with it.”