Nicola Sturgeon criticised for 'chopping and changing' on restrictions

Nicola Sturgeon has been criticised over an inconsistent approach to Covid-19 restrictions which may be doing more harm than the virus itself, according to a former Supreme Court judge.

Nicola Sturgeon is accused of "chopping and changing"
Nicola Sturgeon is accused of "chopping and changing"

Lord Sumption even suggested that the Scottish Government's policy is partly driven by taking a different approach to elsewhere in the UK.

The legal chief has also been critical of Boris Johnson's approach to restrictions and told the Scottish Sun on Sunday that public confidence in the Prime Minister has been "destroyed."

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"Nicola Sturgeon has been a lot better at avoiding that," he told the paper.

"But she is beginning to veer into the chopping and changing, pillar-and-postery in the last few weeks."

Ms Sturgeon has stopped short of the national "firebreak" lockdowns which have been adopted in England and Wales - and has adopted a five-tiered system north of the border while England went for three.

The ex-judge added: "The approach, basically, is to try to make it clear that this is a domestic Scottish policy, nothing to do with the United Kingdom. And in as many ways as possible different from the United Kingdom.

"I suspect the only reason we haven't had a second Scottish lockdown so far is to create the impression she is not influenced by what happens in London although, manifestly, she must be."

Lord Sumption describes the virus as a “humanitarian catastrophe” but warns that the longer term impact social and economic impact of the widespread restrictions being implemented will prove more damaging in the end.

“I think that's true both in England and Scotland,” he added.

"Politicians by their nature, are naturally more concerned to avoid criticism than necessarily to serve the public interest.

"Essentially, they can't see the difference between the two. They therefore are strongly influenced by things that have immediate and visible media impacts - like deaths in hospitals.

"And they're much less influenced by things like an entire generation without jobs, which is the risk that we are seriously facing.”

A further 1,596 people Scots tested positive in the latest figures released on Saturday, an increase of 48.9% on Thursday. There were also 39 deaths.

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