Nicola Sturgeon reported to police over apparent face mask law breach

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Police said they are assessing a complaint (Jane Barlow/PA) (PA Wire)
Police said they are assessing a complaint (Jane Barlow/PA) (PA Wire)

Nicola Sturgeon has been reported to police after footage showed her apparently breaching Scotland’s Covid face mask law on the council election campaign trail.

A video posted on social media appears to show Scotland’s First Minister not wearing a mask during a visit to a barber’s in East Kilbride, South Lanarkshire, on Saturday.

There is currently a legal requirement to wear a face covering in most indoor public places in Scotland, including shops, public transport and hairdressers.

In the video, Ms Sturgeon appears to be seen without a face covering as she mingles with customers and pats the head of a man in a barber’s chair while mimicking the sound of an electric razor.

The video clearly shows Nicola Sturgeon isn’t practising what she preaches on facemasks

Dr Sandesh Gulhane MSP, Scottish Conservatives

The First Minister is wearing a tartan face mask in the video of her visit to Iconic Gents Hair posted on her official Twitter account, in which she can be seen shaving a man’s beard.

A Police Scotland spokesman said: “We can confirm that we have received a complaint which is currently being assessed.”

The legal requirement to wear a face mask in indoor settings in Scotland moves into guidance on Monday, however the Scottish Government has strongly recommended that people continue to wear them where appropriate.

An SNP spokesman said: “The First Minister was invited into the barber’s during an outdoor visit on the street.

“Within a few seconds, she realised she hadn’t put her mask back on and immediately put it on.”

Those who breach the face covering rules can face a fine of up to £60.

Scottish Conservative health spokesman Dr Sandesh Gulhane MSP said: “The video clearly shows Nicola Sturgeon isn’t practising what she preaches on face masks.

“She’s happy virtue signalling for official photos but behind closed doors it’s clear she doesn’t believe in her own rules so why should anyone else.

“This is blatant hypocrisy from the First Minister who has now shown her true colours.

“The public, who have been under these legal Covid restrictions for over two years, deserve an apology for this rule break.”

A Scottish Liberal Democrats spokesman said: “It’s incumbent on all politicians to set a good example. It looks like Nicola Sturgeon has lost track of what her own rules are.”

In December 2020, Ms Sturgeon apologised after she breached Covid rules by taking off her face mask at a funeral wake.

She described it as “a stupid mistake”, and said: “I’m really sorry.”

The Scottish Government said the incident on Saturday was an issue for the party.

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