NICOLA Sturgeon believes the Prime Minister is putting his own political interests ahead of the public interest by supporting Dominic Cummings.
Speaking on BBC Breakfast, the First Minister commented on Boris Johnson’s steadfast defence of his top adviser, who broke the UK Government’s own lockdown guidelines by traveling more than 250 miles to Durham with his family.
Sturgeon said: “I fear, and I say this with a heavy heart, Boris Johnson is putting his political interest ahead of the public interest.
“And when trust in a public health message and public health advice is as important as it is right now the consequences of that could be serious.
“I hope that the Prime Minister will reflect further today and perhaps come to a different conclusion than the one he made yesterday.”
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The First Minister explained she had a “particular insight” into the situation after Scotland’s chief medical officer Catherine Calderwood resigned when photographs emerged of her visiting her holiday home during lockdown.
The SNP leader said that Calderwood had not tried to “save her own skin” at the expense of weakening the lockdown message.
She added: “I put the importance and integrity of the public health message first and to Catherine Calderwood’s great credit so did she.
“She didn’t try to save her own skin at the expense of the public health message and I think that’s what has to happen here now with the Prime Minister and Dominic Cummings.”
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Sturgeon highlighted that as lockdown measures begin to be eased, trust in public health advice was vital.
She continued: “The consequences are potentially so serious. As we go into the next phases of dealing with this crisis, as we start to lift lockdown restrictions and rely less on the letter of the law and more on guidance and appeal to people’s good judgment, then trust in the advice we are giving and the reasons why we are giving that advice is really important.
“If they [the public] get any sense that it is one rule for them and another for people in positions of authority then that will become very difficult.”
Johnson insists Cummings ‘acted responsibly, legally and with integrity’.