Yousaf defends Sturgeon’s transparency and accountability
The first minister of Scotland, Humza Yousaf, has defended his predecessor Nicola Sturgeon against accusations of avoiding scrutiny over WhatsApp messages sent by Scottish ministers during the pandemic. Yousaf said that Sturgeon had shown full transparency and accountability by doing daily media briefings, parliamentary statements, and answering questions from the public and the opposition.
Ross questions Sturgeon’s legality and honesty
The leader of the Scottish Conservatives, Douglas Ross, has questioned Sturgeon’s legality and honesty, claiming that she had deleted WhatsApp messages that could be relevant to the Covid inquiry. Ross said that destroying or withholding evidence from an inquiry was illegal, and that it was not up to the SNP ministers to decide what was relevant to the inquiry. He also accused Sturgeon of lying on television, saying that she could not withhold messages even if she wanted to.
Robison confirms 14,000 messages handed over to the inquiry
The deputy first minister of Scotland, Shona Robison, has confirmed that 14,000 messages had been handed over to the inquiry, after a legal request allowed them to be released. Robison said that the messages included communications between Scottish and UK ministers, as well as between SNP and opposition members. She also said that the messages were unredacted and that the government was fully cooperating with the inquiry.
Forbes says she handed over “all” messages to the probe
The former finance secretary of Scotland, Kate Forbes, has also said that she had handed over “all” messages to the probe, including those from WhatsApp groups. Forbes said that she had nothing to hide and that she was confident that the messages would show that the government had acted in the best interests of the people of Scotland. She also said that she was proud of the government’s response to the pandemic and that she welcomed the inquiry’s scrutiny.
Inquiry to examine the government’s handling of the pandemic
The UK Covid Inquiry, led by Sir John Chilcot, is expected to examine the government’s handling of the pandemic, including its decisions, actions, and outcomes. The inquiry will also look into the impact of the pandemic on the health, social, and economic aspects of the UK, as well as the lessons learned for the future. The inquiry is expected to hear from witnesses, experts, and the public, and to produce a report by 2025.