Nicola Sturgeon ordered to ‘focus on Covid’ and ‘step away from criticising Brexit’

Sturgeon slammed for independence 'obsession' by Alister Jack

Nicola Sturgeon has already said she wants to hold another vote on the future of the UK “early” in the next Holyrood term. But Scottish Secretary Alister Jack has said her obsession with independence is a distraction from the pandemic. He said that she should be focused on the health of Scots instead.

Speaking to ITV’s Representing Border, Mr Jack said: “Nicola Sturgeon seems to think that Brexit is a distraction at the time of Covid.

“I say to her that at a time of obsessing about an independence referendum is a bigger distraction.”

He added: “I think she needs to step back from that and just focus on Covid.

“That’s where her responsibility lies, health is devolved.

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“Brexit negotiations are for the UK Government and we have taken into account the event of a no deal Brexit.

“We have prioritisations for that.”

It comes as said she has “no excuses” for breaking coronavirus rules, as she apologised in the Scottish Parliament after being photographed in a bar not wearing a face mask.

A picture published in the Scottish Sun shows the First Minister chatting to three women while standing at a distance but without wearing a mask.

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Under Scottish Government coronavirus rules, customers in hospitality venues must wear a face covering except when seated, and they must wear one when moving around.

Ms Sturgeon was in the bar last Friday for a funeral wake for a Scottish Government civil servant.

Speaking at the start of First Minister’s Questions at Holyrood on Wednesday, she said: “I want to take this opportunity to say how sorry I am for my breach of rules that I ask all of us to follow every single day.

“I took my face mask off while briefly attending a funeral last week, I’m sure everyone will have seen in the media this morning a picture of me without it.


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“I want to be clear today that regardless of the circumstances, I was in the wrong. There are no excuses. These rules do apply to me just as they do to everyone else and the rules really matter.

“I am kicking myself very hard, possibly harder than my worst critic ever could, but more importantly I’ll be making sure I don’t drop my guard again.”

She concluded her statement, as normal, with a reminder of the Government’s FACTS guidance on coronavirus.

“With an enormous dose of humility, let me remind you and most importantly myself of FACTS,” she said.

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