Carol McGiffin clashes with Nicola Sturgeon over masks
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In a video posted to social media, Scotland’s first minister Nicola Sturgeon was spotted without a mask during a local election campaign visit to a barber. It came just a few days before Scotland lifted the requirement to wear face masks in most indoor public spaces. She has since apologised for her actions and branded it a momentary “lapse of judgement” however, Carol McGiffin put her on the spot during Wednesday’s Loose Women and asked whether she would be resigning from her position.
Speaking to the Loose Women panel about the incident, Sturgeon explained: “I was talking to people, and in literally just a few seconds, I forgot to put my mask on, it was in my pocket, and then I immediately did that.
“Now, I think that is something that many people, if not all people, have done over the past couple of years.
“Let me be clear, I think it is right that I get a harder time for that than an average person because of my position in the fact that I set the rules.
“But is that the same, and I just pose this as a question I think you know my view, is that the same as having I think, six parties at the strictest part of lockdown.
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“Providing what seems to be a cultural rule-breaking in Downing Street and then not telling the truth to parliament, now people can make their own judgement about that, I don’t think these things are equivalent,” Sturgeon asked.
McGiffin grilled: “But are you going to offer your resignation? Because you were really, really firm on Boris resigning over this, and you put it on Twitter, it’s out there, it’s public.”
Sturgeon continued: “Let me give you an analogy, this time last year for entirely different reasons, and we don’t have time to go into it.
“I was facing accusations of having misled the Scottish Parliament, and there was an independent enquiry into that, and the independent enquiry found that I didn’t mislead parliament.
“Had it decided that I had, whatever my views of the rights and wrongs of that had been, I would have offered my resignation because I think that is a really serious thing for a politician.”
McGiffin interrupted: “But what about misleading the people, though, I mean, you might be misleading parliament now and again with all the rules and regulations, some things that have been proven to be not justified or not necessary.
“If there was another pandemic, say, would you reinstate the mask laws and mask mandate, and if you did, would you actually expect people to obey them now that you broke your own rule?”
“I made a momentary lapse, and I am sorry for that,” Sturgeon responded. “I think people obeyed the rules because it was the right thing to do for them for them and their loved ones.
“Not because it was the politicians telling them, I suspect you and I are going to have to agree to disagree on a lot of the rights and wrongs in the response to the pandemic.
“Of course, we are going to have a public enquiry that will look into all of that, the fact of the matter is before we had the vaccines before the vast majority of the people were vaccinated.
“Had we not had the interventions we had at the outset of the pandemic, many more people would have died, many more people would have become seriously ill, and I believe that very strongly.”
McGiffin interrupted once again and asked: “You can’t know that, though.”
Sturgeon immediately replied: “I am pretty certain that that is the case, we know how many people died when we did have strict lockdown at the early stages, imagine how many more, but we will agree to disagree on that.”
In December 2020, Sturgeon once again had to apologise after she was seen breaching Covid rules by taking off her face mask at a funeral wake.
She described her actions as “a stupid mistake” and said: “I’m really sorry.”
Loose Women airs weekdays from 12.30pm on ITV.
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