Nicola Sturgeon loses it as reporter exposes SNP coronavirus rift – ‘I’m going to answer!’

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Taking questions at the Scottish Government’s virtual coronavirus briefing, Nicola Sturgeon was confronted by an ITV reporter who asked the First Minister to explain why she made a U-turn on her decisions to allow children to go back to school full time. The reporter also questioned the Scottish leader on her SNP party colleague John Sweeney ignoring the advice of the Education Recovery Committee on social distancing. 

He said: “Larry Flannigan said that this decision of a U-turn on schools was, he said, a political announcement.

“It wasn’t agreed by the education recovery committee in which he and others sit.

“So why is it that you didn’t consult the group?

“And just to go back to the point, if the ERC says that they have serious concerns about physical distancing, and John Sweeney said there would be no physical distancing, how can those two be reconciled?”

To which Sturgeon replied: “It’s only a week ago that questions from journalists like you were demanding why we weren’t doing more to bring children back full time to schools.

“That’s the luxury of the journalist and I know it’s very legitimate to ask the question from whichever perspective.”

As the reporter tried to rebut, she blasted: “I’m going to answer the question and I’m going to answer fully.

“First of all, there hasn’t been a U-turn, we had planned for a contingency because we have until very recently thought that full-time education in August would not be possible because we didn’t think it would be safe with the level of infections.

“We now think that there is a different prospect, so are planning resumption full time.”

A total of 2,482 patients have died in Scotland after testing positive for coronavirus, up by two from 2,480 on Wednesday, Nicola Sturgeon said.

The First Minister said 18,196 people have tested positive for the virus in Scotland, up by five from 18,191 the previous day.

This marks the second day in a row when new cases have been in single figures, the first time this has happened since March 11, pre-lockdown.

There are 826 people in hospital with confirmed or suspected Covid-19, a drop of 54.

Of these patients, 18 were in intensive care, a fall of five.

More to follow…

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