Nicola Sturgeon squirms as SNP leader told to ‘be straight’ with Scots on COVID chaos

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Nicola Sturgeon was asked for clarity of the unhelpful delays Scottish workers have been facing in the past few weeks to get their coronavirus tests back. STV reporter Gordon Chree suggested the “war of words” between the SNP leader and the UK Government had not been helping reassure people. Mr Chree said: “I’ve spoken this morning to Craig, a teacher from Falkirk who had a Covid test on Friday and this morning was told the result could take another five days.

 

“Clearly, he can’t go back to work without a negative result. What you’ve said is an explanation for this, the UK Government has said is ‘categorically untrue’.

“So that war of words probably doesn’t help people waiting for a test but it gives the impression that someone isn’t being straight with us.

“What can you say to people like Craig who don’t have results?”

Ms Sturgeon however insisted public health officials and diagnostic authorities have been working hard to ensure a quick test turnaround.

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She alson dismissed claims her criticism of the delays sparked a “war of words” with Westminster as she reiterated her commitment to working together though the pandemic.

Ms Sturgeon said: “I don’t know from your question who has told Craig about perhaps taking another five days.

“We’re working very hard with the UK Government to ensure the turnaround time, particularly for tests that are already taking longer than they should, are as quick as possible.

“It is in nobody’s interests, certainly not in my interests, to get into a war of words with anybody on this. I’m trying to avoid this.”

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The SNP leader added: “We are dependent on the UK Government to help us resolve some of these turnaround issues with tests that go through the Lighthouse Laboratory. You’ve heard me talk about that on previous occasions.

“We’ve worked together and things have improved.

“That will be the case this time as well. When I look at the UK Government’s statement, I’m not sure they are denying or challenging the substance of what I’m saying.

“The statement I saw from them recognised a large number of tests have been diverted from the Glasgow Lighthouse Laboratory to other Lighthouse laboratories in the UK.”

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