Loose Women’s Carol McGiffin clashes with Nicola Sturgeon during heated facemask debate

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon clashed with outspoken Loose Women panelist Carol McGiffin this afternoon.

She appeared on the ITV show Wednesday lunchtime to discuss coronavirus restrictions, Boris Johnson and the menopause.

Denise Welch previously hinted viewers would be in for an interesting episode as the politician would be going head-to-head with outspoken panellist Carol McGiffin, who is known for her criticism of government responses to the coronavirus pandemic, and the vaccine mandate.

Denise’s premonition came true, and the FM fiercely debated with Carol during the ITV show.

It came after a video posted on social media appeared to show the SNP leader not wearing a mask during a visit to a barber’s in East Kilbride on Saturday.

Nicola and Carol ended up going head to head over mask rules

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.

When asked by Christine whether Boris should resign over ‘Partygate’ or if people need to move on, Nicola hinted at her own mistakes by adding: “You know these are valid questions. I’ve had my own lapse in the last couple days with the face coverings.

“I take the view that given the severity of the challenges and the cost of living crisis, it makes it even more important that there is a Prime Minister in Number 10 who has the moral authority to lead.

“With Boris, it is the serial breaches, at a time when the rest of the country was in very strict lockdown, but to be blunt about it, when this all first came to light, he was not honest about it and he was not honest in the House of Commons.

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“In politics that really matters and that’s very serious and it’s really important that people can trust the Prime Minister of the country, or the First Minister of Scotland, to tell the truth.

She added: “Sometimes, particularly for politicians, saying sorry is important, but in some instances and in some circumstances, particularly around the misleading of parliament, there’s got to be consequences for your actions.”

The FM added that her face covering mistake was something that “probably many, if not most people have done over the last couple of years.”

She continued: “Let me be clear, I think it is right that I get a harder time for that than an average person because of my position and the fact I set the rules.”

Nicola also admitted that when she was under investigation for misleading parliament, that “regardless of opinions on right or wrong” she would have offered her resignation.

Gloria referred to her as being “only human” but Carol demanded to know what set her apart from Boris Johnson and his ‘Partygate’ scandal.

The FM replied: “It’s fair to ask what’s the difference and people will make up their own minds.

“I was called into a barber shop and for literally a few seconds I forgot, then immediately I put a mask on.

“I think that’s something people have done over the past couple of years, I think it’s right I get a harder time, but is that the same as having six parties at the strictest part of lockdown and presiding over a culture of rule breaking at Downing Street?

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“I don’t think these things are an equivalent.”

The First Minister then admitted she would have “offered a resignation” if she’d been found to have misled parliament over the incident.

Carol then asked: “What about misleading the people though? If there was another pandemic would you instate the masks and would you expect them to wear them?”

The politician then said she and the Loose Women panellist would have to “agree to disagree” on rights and wrongs of the pandemic response.

She added: “Without interventions at the outset, many more people would have died and I believe that very strongly.”

Carol replied: “You can’t be certain.”

The FM replied: “I’m pretty certain that is the case.”

When asked by Gloria if she had regrets in hindsight, Nicola answered honestly with a resounding yes and added if she could go back to the beginning of the pandemic and do things differently, she would, and suggested she’d have introduced a national lockdown earlier .

Loose Women airs weekdays on ITV at 12:30

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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