Monday, 30 Nov 2020

Sturgeon accused of ‘distracting’ from huge ‘scandals’ as MSP exposes SNP’s major failures

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Nicola Sturgeon has been “distracting” from her record on the coronavirus battle, an MSP has claimed. Scottish Conservative MSP Miles Briggs spoke to Express.co.uk about the First Minister’s handling of the pandemic so far. He warned the SNP had made major mistakes that were tantamount to “scandals”.

Mr Briggs said: “Nicola Sturgeon’s been able to distract from some of the problems we’ve seen around testing.

“The care home scandal in Scotland has been huge, and we haven’t really had the opportunity to highlight that.

“PPE at the very start of this crisis was awful in Scotland.

“Companies and private care homes weren’t able to get their access to PPE in the early days.”

He continued: “I think that we’re now starting to see other issues, especially around our health services, such as the return of cancer services in screening.

“I’ve had a lot of dentists contacting me, deeply concerned that the Scottish Government have been so slow in allowing dentists to re-start.

“A lot are now saying they’re finding this could put them under economically.

“We could actually see an additional health crisis in Scotland where dentistry, for example, is not sustainable in the future unless we do something.”

The MSP added: “There’s a lot of things Nicola Sturgeon hasn’t really had herself questioned by the UK media.

“I would have hoped that, as all nations went into lockdown together, we could have had the same timetable together.

“We haven’t but, by and large, both countries have done the same things, just on a slower pace in Scotland.”

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Some Scottish care homes had reportedly been forced to rely on donations from individuals and organisations to fight coronavirus early on in the outbreak.

When confronted over the issue, the First Minister insisted that the “principal responsibility” to protect staff lay with the care home provider.

At a briefing in April, Ms Sturgeon said: “Our responsibility working with care home providers is to make sure that care homes are as safe as they possibly can be.

“Obviously in the context of a global pandemic of a virus that has no treatment and no vaccine and that we know particularly affects older people. Let me also say no member of staff in a care home should rely on donations.

“The principal responsibility to provide protection to staff is on the part of the care home provider. The Government’s responsibility, as we have been undertaking, is to top up these PPE supplies where required.”

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