COVID Inquiry: 'Nicola Sturgeon could cry from one eye if she wanted to' - Beritaja

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Scottish Secretary Alister Jack has rejected Nicola Sturgeon's declare she did not activity to politicise The pandemic - claiming he "didn't judge it for a minute".

The erstwhile first curate repeatedly fought backmost tears arsenic she appeared earlier The UK COVID-19 Inquiry on Wednesday, claiming she took accusations that she sought a different attack to The microorganism from The authorities in Westminster to beforehand The origin of Scottish independency "very, very seriously".

Ms Sturgeon said: "People will make their ain judgments astir me, astir my government, astir my decisions, but for arsenic agelong arsenic I live, I will transportation The effect of these decisions.

"I will transportation regret astatine The decisions and judgments I sewage wrong, but I will ever cognize in my bosom and in my psyche that my instincts and my information was thing different than trying to do The champion in The look of this pandemic."

However, Mr Jack rubbished Ms Sturgeon's grounds arsenic he appeared earlier The enquiry connected Thursday arsenic it sat for its last time in Edinburgh.

"I watched that grounds from yesterday and I didn't judge it for a minute," he said.

"I deliberation Nicola Sturgeon could outcry from 1 oculus if she wanted to."

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Ms Sturgeon chokes backmost tears astatine COVID inquiry

The furniture curate went connected to opportunity it was "inevitable location would beryllium tensions" betwixt The Scottish and UK governments fixed their different governmental positions connected The union.

"The past first curate saw her occupation arsenic leader of a nationalist authorities to break up The UK," he said.

"Devolution useful very good but useful very good erstwhile some governments want to activity together. But erstwhile 1 authorities wants to destruct The UK and destruct devolution, past location are tensions.

"Those tensions existed earlier The pandemic, during The pandemic and they beryllium now today."

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Ms Sturgeon was questioned astir her government's determination not to disclose an outbreak of COVID linked to a Nike convention in February 2020 to The nationalist - a determination she said she would reverse in hindsight.

On Thursday, Mr Jack said The UK authorities was besides not informed of The outbreak, contempt some he and past UK Health Secretary Matt Hancock having spoken to past Scottish Health Secretary Jeane Freeman.


Image: Mr Jack during his testimony. Pic: PA/UK COVID-19 Inquiry

Mr Jack said: "Another point that had happened astatine that meeting, that had travel to ray in May, that contempt being pinch The wellness caput for 2 hours, astatine nary constituent did she mention that they had discovered an outbreak astatine The Nike convention in Edinburgh."

He said Mr Hancock only discovered The outbreak erstwhile newspapers had contacted him astir The issue.

'Bit of a Luddite'

When asked astir his WhatsApp messages, Mr Jack said: "I deleted each of them."

However, The furniture personnel insisted nary messages related to authorities business were removed - because he did not behaviour specified matters via The app in The first place.

He told The enquiry he deleted messages from his telephone because The instrumentality was moving retired of memory.

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Mr Jack said: "If I could move The timepiece back, knowing what I cognize now, I would person sought a different solution for my deficiency of retention capacity.

"I'm a spot of a Luddite, I'm The only personnel of The furniture not to person immoderate societal media accounts but that's nary excuse. I regret that I deleted my full account, I regret it for a number of reasons.

"I regret it because of The inquiry, I regret it because I hadn't saved immoderate family pictures and bits and pieces."

He added: "I deliberation these matters, each matters relating to an arena for illustration this, should beryllium recorded wrong The offices of applicable ministers."

The enquiry continues.

Editor: Naga

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