Police have confirmed no further action will be taken against Nicola Sturgeon after footage emerged of her in an East Kilbride salon without a face mask on.
The First Minister was in East Kilbride at the weekend to visit SNP candidates in the forthcoming local elections – but the visit was overshadowed by the gaffe in Iconic Gents Hair in the Village.
SNP HQ had contacted one of their candidates – Grant Ferguson – who was the first Deaf British Sign Language user councilor to be elected in Scotland as Ms Sturgeon was keen to speak to him and other candidates.
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A video was posted on social media of her mingling with people in the shop with no mask – despite official pictures on her Twitter account showing her with a Tartan mask, in which she can be seen shaving a man’s beard.
At the time, there was still a legal requirement to wear a face covering in most indoor public places in Scotland, including shops, public transport and hairdressers. That rule comes to an end yesterday (Monday).
Ms Sturgeon has now apologized for the “inadvertent error” and Police Scotland confirmed they have spoken to her, reminding her of the importance of wearing a face covering when there is a legal requirement to do so.
But Police Scotland said that they were “satisfied that no further action is necessary”.
However, opposition politicians in East Kilbride have called her a “hypocrite.”
Tory MSP, Graham Simpson, told Lanarkshire Live: “It is clear to me that she broke her own law.
“It was the height of hypocrisy for Nicola Sturgeon to breeze into an East Kilbride barbers without a mask, while it was still the law – her law – that you had to wear one.
“It seems to have been the case that there was one law for Nicola Sturgeon and one law for the rest of us.”
Labor election candidate Joe Fagan said: “The First Minister rolled into East Kilbride for a fleeting photo op and it went wrong, apparently due to confusion about the rules and guidance her own government is responsible for making.
“The real issues Nicola Sturgeon needs to confront in East Kilbride she clearly had no intention of addressing.”
While Labor MSP, Monica Lennon, added that the FM would be “embarrassed” that her visit to East Kilbride to promote the SNP ended with her being reported to the police, whilst locals would be frustrated that urgent issues facing the town were “not being given the attention they deserve.”
Meanwhile SNP MP, Dr Lisa Cameron, said the First Minister received “a very warm welcome” from East Kilbride residents and businesses, adding she was pleased Ms Sturgeon met with Grant Ferguson.
SNP election candidate, Gladys Miller, said: “The campaign has been hard work.
“All of the activists have been hand delivering leaflets rather than posting.
“On Saturday we had 17 days left and Nicola’s arrival, not only put East Kilbride on the map, but gave all of the SNP activists the enthusiasm to keep going till May 5.”
Ms Sturgeon said: “While campaigning outdoors in East Kilbride I was invited into a local barber shop. After a few seconds of being in the shop, I realized I had forgotten to put my face covering back on. I then immediately put it on.
“However, I accept that not wearing a face covering even for a few seconds was an error on my part.”
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