Lorna Slater: Green minister is 'incredibly hard working' says Sturgeon after COP26 time off email

Nicola Sturgeon has insisted that Green minister Lorna Slater is “incredibly hardworking” after she emailed staff demanding time off during the crucial Cop26 climate change summit.

Ms Slater, the minister for green skills, the circular economy and biodiversity, is reported to have told civil servants and advisers that she did not want to do “any more than two things in a day” during the summit.

With the climate conference, which was staged in Glasgow, running for two weeks, Ms Slater, who missed part of the event because she was isolating after testing positive for Covid, also said she “can’t be working 14 days straight” and “needs two full days completely off”, although these “don’t need to be consecutive”.

Hide Ad

Details of the email, which was obtained under Freedom of Information, were reported by the Scottish Sun newspaper.

Scottish Greens co-leaders Patrick Harvie and Lorna Slater.

Scots Tory environment spokesman, Graham Simpson, told the paper: “This astonishing email reads like the demands of a Hollywood diva, not a Scottish Government minister.”

Hide Ad

He added: “The future of the planet was on the line, so it defies belief that an environment minister should be putting restrictions on her workload and insisting on days off during this crucial summit.

“Emissions don’t take days off. If she wants to be a Government minister, Lorna Slater must grow up and accept the responsibilities that come with the job.”

Hide Ad

However, Ms Sturgeon insisted: “All my ministers work hard, they’re expected to work hard, and I wouldn’t have it any other way.”

She added: “Lorna is an incredibly hard worker. I’ve seen that in the time that she has been in the Scottish Government.”

Hide Ad

Ms Sturgeon said the comment about wanting two days off was “over the course of a 14-day period”.

Hide Ad

The First Minister, who brought the Greens into her Scottish Government after signing a cooperation agreement with the party, added: “All ministers will have different patterns of working to take account of all sorts of things but Lorna and the rest of my ministerial team are hardworking, as the country has every right to expect them to be.”

Meanwhile, Labour MSP Mercedes Villalba tweeted: “It’s not ‘making a fuss’ to ask for one day off a week. It’s not ‘lazy’ to attend two events a day alongside ministerial duties.”

Hide Ad

A message from the Editor:

Hide Ad

Thank you for reading this article. We're more reliant on your support than ever as the shift in consumer habits brought about by coronavirus impacts our advertisers.

If you haven't already, please consider supporting our trusted, fact-checked journalism by taking out a digital subscription.