Sturgeon: Johnson's government has lessons to learn from Scotland’s handling of coronavirus

23 July 2020, 13:51

Scotland's First Minister Nicola Sturgeon welcoming Prime Minister Boris Johnson in Edinburgh last year
Scotland's First Minister Nicola Sturgeon welcoming Prime Minister Boris Johnson in Edinburgh last year. Picture: PA

By Fraser Knight

Nicola Sturgeon has said she thinks that Boris Johnson's government can learn lessons from Scotland when it comes to the response to Coronavirus.

The First Minister said if Mr Johnson has time to stop off in Edinburgh during his first visit to Scotland since the General Election, she will make time to hold a discussion with him.

Ms Sturgeon said: “An approach that is very much driven by the objective of elimination I think is one thing they could learn and I have said before I would encourage the UK Government to do that.

“I think that would help all of the countries of the UK to drive the infection to the lowest possible level and put us in the strongest position going into winter and also minimise the risk of us going backwards if the virus runs out of control again.”

READ MORE: Boris Johnson says UK has shown its "sheer might" in tackling virus

The Prime Minister does not have any plans to meet with Nicola Sturgeon during his visit north.

He was heckled by protesters on his arrival in Orkney on Thursday morning, as he claimed the coronavirus pandemic has shown the “sheer might” of the union.

During her Coronavirus briefing, Nicola Sturgeon said she didn’t want to focus too much on the Prime Minister’s visit.

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But she did say: “I don’t think any of us – and I include myself in this - should be trying to using Covid and the pandemic as some kind of political campaigning tool.

“This is a pandemic that has taken the lives of more than 50,000 people across the UK. We’ve all tried to do our best but I don’t think any of us have got any grounds to crow or feel satisfied about this – it’s not politics or constitutional arguments.

“Every leader of every country right now has a real duty to remain focused on doing everything we can to tackle this and not use it as some kind of political weapon.”

On the question of a four-nation approach to tackling the coronavirus, the First Minister also said a COBRA meeting hasn’t been held since ‘early May’ but said she and Boris Johnson have spoken on the phone since then – albeit on an issue not related to the pandemic.