Covid: SNP MSP calls for Aberdeen Council to investigate scenes at Tory donor’s bar


AN SNP MSP has called for Aberdeen Council to investigate a Tory donor’s bar after a video emerged showing customers not adhering to social distancing rules.

Kevin Stewart, SNP MSP for Aberdeen Central, blasted footage posted on Twitter that showed customers hugging at The Draft Project last night as Scotland secured their place at Euro 2020.

READ MORE: Tory donor’s Aberdeen bar blasted for lack of social distancing

The bar, owned by PB Devco which also runs the nearby Soul Bar, was one of 28 venues linked to Aberdeen’s coronavirus cluster outbreak in August.

PB Devco donated £20,000 to the Conservative and Unionist Party on May 22, 2017, just weeks before the UK election.

Stewart described the incident as “a disgrace” and called for the council to investigate.

He said: “Let’s be completely honest about this, the scenes in that particular venue last night were a disgrace and have put people in our city at risk – how many bars and jobs are being put on the line because of the arrogance and apparent flagrant disregard of the rules in one venue?

“My inbox is inundated with folk deeply concerned by videos that have emerged from last night and rightly so – we all remember why we ended up in an August lockdown and we must do all we can to prevent that happening again.

“The council must investigate this matter fully and I don’t mean giving the owners a ring and chatting it over. I mean a formal review which includes opening the log books and looking at the test and protect records, measuring the venue properly and not taking the venue’s word for it and most importantly taking action on the chaos that happened last night.

“On a day when we saw 58 new cases of coronavirus across Grampian, folk across this city will be absolutely scunnered at what ensued on Wednesday night at Draft Project by Soul – we need the council to take responsibility and do right by the people and businesses of Aberdeen.”

John Swinney was asked about the issue at the coronavirus media briefing.

He said football fans have a natural desire to celebrate, but the virus is a “very real threat” as today’s “terrible” statistics show.

Swinney said: “This virus does not rest. Yes, we want to celebrate but we all have to understand what the virus needs is human contact.

“If we let our guard down the virus will have an opportunity to spread”

He added: “We can look forward to enjoying in happier times, when we’ve got the better of the virus, some of the celebrations that we all look forward to in the years to come.”

READ MORE: John Swinney condemns Aberdeen football fans for breaking rules at Tory donor’s bar

It was hoped Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire might be dropped from level 2 to level 1 in this week’s review of the Scottish Government’s national framework for coronavirus.

The First Minister said the north-east has shown some “stability” in cases, but not enough to merit lowering it to tier 1.

In level 2 licensed premises can only serve alcohol indoors with a main meal – and then only until 8pm. Outdoors, customers can be served until 10.30pm

The bar’s application for a pop-up tent venue controversially fast-tracked in the summer after Tory MSP Liam Kerr called for urgent action.

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