Sturgeon slammed by Davidson for ‘falling behind’ on vaccine
Yesterday the First Minister promised to publish information which would reveal how many vaccines would be delivered to Scotland each week. Downing Street has urged for the data to be kept under wraps and said it was a “national security” issue.
Brussels has demanded AstraZeneca send some jabs it had earmarked for the UK to the continent after the drugs manufacturer admitted it would not be able to deliver as many doses as promised to the EU.
With shortages of jabs worldwide, the Government fears sharing information about its supply could lead to jabs being diverted elsewhere.
Senior backbencher Sir Iain Duncan Smith accused the SNP leader of “showboating to try and curry favour” with the EU.
He added Ms Sturgeon “should for once in her life thank the UK Government, for having vaccines so people in Scotland have a better chance of surviving coronavirus than if it was stuck in the EU, which is her dream”.
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Scottish Tory leader Douglas Ross accused Ms Sturgeon of being “deeply irresponsible” by planning to publish data on vaccine supply.
He said: “The First Minister must think again and stop trying to distract from the SNP’s slow vaccine rollout.”
David Jones, deputy chairman of the eurosceptic European Research Group, said her behaviour was “pretty reprehensible”.
“She’s doing absolutely nothing for the security of the UK vaccine supply,” he told The Telegraph.
Pressure has been building on Scotland to justify why it has been slower at rolling out the vaccine than the other nations of the UK.
So far 11.5 percent of England’s population has been inoculated, compared to just 8.5 percent north of the border.
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The Conservatives have accused the Scottish Government of having half a million jabs sat in warehouses while GPs are desperate for more supplies.
At First Minister’s Questions yesterday, Ms Sturgeon criticised the attacks from her opponents and said they were using “spin to the media” to exploit the secrecy surrounding supplies.
Earlier this month the Scottish Government removed its vaccine rollout plan for its website after it contained sensitive information about the number of doses the UK had.
The SNP leader said following the Conservatives’ scrutiny of Scotland’s jab rollout, she would once again publish the information.
She told MSPs: “In terms of supply, I’m not going to go into detail about what we covered last week about us publishing the expected supply, the UK Government demanding that we took that out of the public domain, but being quite happy to brief these figures through spin to the media.
“So I’ve said to my officials actually, regardless of what they say, I think we’ll just go back to publishing the actual supply figures from next week so that we all have transparency around that.”
Prime Minister Boris Johnson urged the First Minister to reconsider.
He said: “We’re in favour of the maximum possible transparency that is compatible with security of supply, that’s the crucial thing.
“We’ve got to make sure that we continue to have national security of supply.”
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