Loose Women: Nicola Sturgeon in clash with Carol McGiffin over Boris Johnson apology and responds to mask mistake

Nicola Sturgeon clashed with Carol McGiffin over Boris Johnson’s apology and Covid rules in Scotland in an appearance on Loose Women.

Wednesday, 20th April 2022, 2:22 pm

The First Minister discussed menopause, her role in politics, social media, her thoughts on Boris Johnson and more.

She also discussed her mask mistake after a video posted on social media showed the First Minister without a face covering during a visit to Iconic Gents Hair barber shop in East Kilbride on Saturday.

Speaking to the Loose Women panel, who had been discussing Boris Johnson’s apology Nicola Sturgeon said: “As you know I have had my own lapse in the last couple of days with a momentary failure to put on a face covering so I know how difficult these things can be”

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Nicola Sturgeon appeared on Loose Women.

“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. In politics that really matters 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.”

Loose Women panellist Carol McGiffin quizzed the First Minister following her comments on Boris Johnson asking: “What’s the difference between your misdemeanour or breaking your rules, your laws, than Boris breaking his rules and his laws - and he has actually stood up in parliament and made a big apology. You’ve made an apology sort of, and you’re claiming it as a mistake. Maybe he made a mistake”

A screengrab from Loose Women

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The First Minister responded saying: “That’s a fair question, Carol to say what’s the difference. People will make up their own minds about the difference. So I was on the street, I got called into a barber shop, I was talking to people and for literally a few seconds I forgot to put a mask on. It was in my pocket and then I immediately did that.

“I think that’s is something that probably many people, if not most people, have done over the past couple of years. Let me clear, I think it is right that I get a harder time for it than an average person because of my position and the fact that I set the rules. But is that the same as having, I think, six parties at the strict part of lockdown, presiding over what appears to be a culture of rule breaking in Downing Street, and then not telling the truth to Parliament?”

She added: “People can make up their own judgement about that but I don’t think these things are equivalent.”

McGiffin then asked if the First Minister was going to offer her resignation over the matter - comparing her response to Boris Johnson‘s rule breaking.

“I was facing accusations of having misled the Scottish Parliament and there was an independent inquiry into that. The independent inquiry found that I didn’t mislead parliament. Had it decided that I had, whatever my views on the rights and wrongs of that had been, I would have offered my resignation as I think it is a really serious thing for a politician.”

McGiffin then interrupted asking about what about misleading the people - and asked if there was another lockdown would make rules be reintroduced in Scotland, and would the First Minister expect people to obey them “now that you’ve broke your own rule”

Sturgeon said back that she felt people obeyed the rules because it was the right thing to do for them and their loved ones, not because politicians told them.

She added: “Before we had vaccines, before the vast majority of people were vaccinated, had we not had the interventions that we had, many, many, many more people would have died, many more people would have become seriously ill.”

Carol McGiffin then hit back saying: “You can’t know that though” to which the First Minister said: “I am pretty certain that that is the case because how many people died even when we had strict lockdown at the early stages, imagine how many more had we not.”

Social media was alight with commentary following the conversation, with one user writing: “Watching Loose Women how disrespectful is that Carol McGiffin to Nicola Sturgeon”

Another wrote: “I’m sorry but Carol on #LooseWomen comparing Nicola Sturgeon briefly forgetting her mask to Boris’ parties and blatant multiple rule breaking is embarrassing!”

One social media user wrote: “Desperate stuff from Carol McGiffin comparing briefly not wearing a face mask last week to Downing Street shenanigans at height of pandemic”

In the Commons on Tuesday, the Prime Minister – who has already paid a fixed penalty notice for a breach of lockdown rules – repeatedly apologised to MPs.

But he also insisted he had not believed a gathering in the Cabinet Room at No 10 to mark his 56th birthday had violated the regulations in place at the time.