Indyref2 date and question will be set out before election

The SNP will go into next year's Holyrood election looking for a 'clear endorsement' for its referendum plans.

Programme for government: Covid remains 'immediate priority'.
Programme for government: Covid remains 'immediate priority'.

The Scottish Government will publish a proposed timetable and question for a second independence referendum before parliament breaks for next year’s Holyrood election.

The First Minister said the SNP will then go into 2021’s vote seeking a “clear endorsement” from voters of “Scotland’s right to choose our own future”.

She was laying out her administration’s programme for government for the next year, in which she said it was “clear that suppressing Covid is our most immediate priority”.

But Nicola Sturgeon said that did not mean the Scottish Government will “simply hunker down and wait for the storm to pass”, outlining plans to boost jobs, invest in infrastructure and tackle climate change.


She also committed the government to the creation of a new national service to run social care in Scotland in the wake of the coronavirus crisis in care homes.

On indyref2, the programme for government document says that before the end of the parliamentary term in 2021, a draft bill will be published “setting out the terms of a future referendum clearly and unambiguously to the people of Scotland”. 

Addressing MSPs on Tuesday, Sturgeon took aim at the UK Government over Brexit and the refusal to extend the transition period beyond this year.

The FM told Holyrood: “Covid has presented us with significant challenges, but these are being compounded unnecessarily by Brexit.


“The UK Government’s decision not to seek an extension to the transition period – despite the economic crisis caused by Covid – will cause avoidable harm to many Scottish businesses.”

She described it as “an act of self-sabotage which we do not understand”.

And she also urged the UK Government to extend its furlough scheme to support workers for another 12 months.

Sturgeon added that if she was unveiling the programme for government of an independent Scotland, she would be able to outline plans for an extension to the furlough scheme, borrow more money and implement a universal basic income.

The First Minister said: “If this was a programme for government in an independent Scotland, it wouldn’t have to contemplate the damage of Brexit.

“Instead it could set out even more far reaching plans

“That is why, before the end of this parliament, we will publish a draft Bill, setting out the proposed terms and timing of an independence referendum, as well as the proposed question that people will be asked in that referendum.”


But Scottish Conservative leader Douglas Ross tweeted in response: “The First Minister just doesn’t get it.

“We need to take Scotland forward and recover from this crisis together, not go back to the divisions of the past.”

Concluding her statement, the First Minister drew parallels between the Second World War and the Covid-19 pandemic.

She said: “The crisis we face today is different – and in many ways less extreme.

“But it is, without doubt, the biggest challenge our generation has faced.”

Ms Sturgeon added: “This is a programme for government which prepares us for what may well be a difficult winter.

“But it also encourages us to lift our eyes, find hope in our hearts and plan for brighter days ahead.”

Nurse reunites with family from US as quarantine rules change

Elaine Burt shared an embrace with her sister and her nephews as they arrived at Glasgow Airport.

Andrew Milligan via PA Ready

A nurse who embraced her family at an airport after 20 months apart has hailed the “best present ever” after rule changes mean they will not have to quarantine for ten days.

Elaine Burt, 55, a senior nurse with the NHS, shared an emotional embrace with her sister Michelle Bolger, 50, and her nephews Kaie, 17, and Taran, 12, who were all double vaccinated in the US, as they arrived at Glasgow Airport on Monday morning from Boston via Amsterdam.

Mrs Bolger said: “It’s been so long … it’s been really hard, but we’re here, we made it”, as she arrived in the country to visit her mother Jean, who has been unwell.

She said: “We booked the flight just a week past Monday. It’s been a rollercoaster trying to get here.


“We still have to test on day two but it’s great, absolutely amazing, I didn’t think I would see this day.

“We’ve done everything by the book just to get here and we’re just excited.”

Ms Burt, from Newton Mearns, said after the reunion: “It was an absolute relief, it just felt as if it was never going to happen and it’s just the best present ever.

“We never thought it was going to happen with all of the different restrictions, but we left it to the last minute to see what was possible.”

‘It was an absolute relief, it just felt as if it was never going to happen and it’s just the best present ever.’

Elaine Burt

They were among the first to enjoy a relaxation of rules that changed as of 4am on Monday, allowing people who have had both jabs in the US and EU to travel to Scotland without isolating for 10 days.

The Scottish Government made the decision public last week just hours after UK Transport Secretary Grant Shapps announced the relaxation of measures for England.

Subject to countries remaining on the amber travel list, travellers will no longer have to self-isolate for 10 days on arrival in Scotland.

The change does not apply to people who have been in France in the 10 days prior to their arrival, due to concerns over the Beta variant of coronavirus.

Travellers need to show a negative test before departure and produce a negative PCR test result on day two after arrival.

Glasgow University veterinary medicine student Ben Hamilton, 19, from Texas, said it was a “relief” to not have to isolate after he landed back in Scotland, saying: “It’s the first time I’ve got back and not had to quarantine.

“It’s a relief not to have to sit inside myself for 10 days.”


Colin Morton, 56, was another person enjoying isolation-free travel at the airport on Monday morning.

The engineer, who moved to Italy in his mid-20s and had both his vaccinations in Italy, said he had returned to Scotland to visit his mother, who has been unwell.

He said: “My mother and father live here and they are both elderly and my mother has been unwell, so I’m looking forward to being able to see her.

“There would have been no point coming if I had to quarantine.”

The requirement to take a further PCR test on day eight is being dropped, authorities said.

Those arriving will be required to show either the EU Digital Covid Certificate or the US Centres for Disease Control and Prevention’s white card – known as a CDC card – to prove they are fully vaccinated.

Announcing the changes last week, Scottish Transport Secretary Michael Matheson said the change is down to the “overwhelming success” of the vaccination scheme in Scotland, as well as “successful rollouts” of vaccine programmes in the EU and US.

He said: “Fully vaccinated travellers will be able to travel to Scotland under this significant relaxation of international travel measures, providing a boost for the tourism sector and wider economy while ensuring public health is protected.”

He urged people to “continue to think very carefully about travelling – especially given the prevalence and unpredictable nature of variants of concern”.

The relaxation of the rules extends to the four European Free Trade Association members – Norway, Iceland, Switzerland and Liechtenstein – and the microstates of Monaco, Andorra and Vatican City.

Dad vows to help five-year-old walk after death of mum

Arabella Green is unable to use her limbs and relies on a wheelchair after she was born with a rare condition.

STV News

A dad is doing everything in his power to help his five-year-old daughter walk after the loss of her mother.

Arabella Green was born with Arthrogryposis Multiplex Congenita (AMC) – a rare condition which causes joints to stiffen and become fixed into bent or straight positions, restricting movement.

She suffers from Arthrogryposis in both her arms and legs, and although she has already had numerous painful operations, she is unable to walk and relies on a wheelchair.

Her dad William told STV News that soon after Arabella was born, she was “surrounded by about 20 doctors” from the special baby care unit.


He said: “At first they couldn’t determine what was wrong with her, they just said deformed limbs.

“But she can feel everything, her mind is perfect. She doesn’t like being in the wheelchair, she doesn’t like people looking at her when she’s in the wheelchair. She wants to walk.”   

‘She doesn’t like being in the wheelchair, she doesn’t like people looking at her when she’s in the wheelchair. She wants to walk.’

William Green

Arabella’s world was further turned upside down in March 2021 when her mum Catherine took her own life. She now lives with dad William, who has vowed to do everything he can to continue Catherine’s fight and help Arabella walk.

Last year, Catherine made contact with an Arthrogryposis specialist surgeon based in the United States – Dr David Feldman.


She travelled with Arabella to his European clinic in Poland for a consultation, where she was told with the help of surgery and rehab, Arabella could gain some movement in her legs.

But unfortunately, when she returned to Scotland to meet with NHS Lothian doctors, they said there was nothing that could be done and the surgery wasn’t suitable for Arabella.

William said: “They said ‘you need to be realistic and think about how you can improve Arabella’s life in a wheelchair’.”

He added: “On hearing that, as any mother, it dashed Cat’s hopes so much.

“Two months later, she took her own life on March 16.

“She wasn’t getting noticed. She was begging doctors to straighten her leg out.”

Catherine’s death has rocked the whole family, especially Arabella, says William, who has now given up his job as an electrician to look after his daughter full time.

‘She’s devastated, she was her best pal, it’s devastated the whole family, now we know how much Cat held everyone together.’

William Green

“She’s devastated, she was her best pal, it’s devastated the whole family, now we know how much Cat held everyone together. Her mum is an angel, she had a heart of gold.

“She thinks her mum is with her and going to help her walk. We were at the cinema last night and she saved a seat thinking her mum is there.”

Determined to press on with the costly surgery in Poland, William has now set up a GoFundMe page to raise the cash for the trip.

“It’s not going to be cheap, and I won’t give up. Obviously the longer it takes the more Arabella’s muscles are contracting backwards. So she needs it done now.

“I’m her dad and I’m a fighter, my daughter is a fighter, and I believe in Dr Feldman.”

Dr Feldman told STV News: “We have proven that we can straighten knees, not lose function, have children walking at home outside the house.

“So I would invite any surgeon anywhere to come and watch us do it, we do it three times a week.

“We have many children with this condition and I have done this surgery about 150 times now.

“We have shown the results and the results are real. It’s easier to give people a wheelchair and not operate.

“On an individual care, I would not give up.

“You can’t tell someone to accept it. That’s not fair when they have so much potential. I can show case after case of this.”

Dr Tracey Gillies, medical director, NHS Lothian said: “In Scotland, multi-disciplinary assessments from a range of clinical professionals help determine when surgery might be indicated and what the benefits to patients might be.

“This process enables decisions to be made which are centred on the patient’s needs.

“Arabella’s condition remains under review and she continues to receive ongoing care from a range of professionals.

“We understand this is a very difficult time for the family and extend our sympathies to them.

“We would encourage the family to get in touch with us directly if they have any questions or concerns.”

Humza Yousaf seeks legal advice over nursery ‘discrimination’

The health secretary said an application for his two-year-old daughter was refused twice by a Dundee nursery.

STV News

Humza Yousaf has said he is seeking legal advice after raising concerns that his daughter was discriminated against by a nursery.

The health secretary explained that an application for his two-year-old daughter was refused twice by Little Scholars Day Nursery in Dundee.

However, he said that an application made by a white Scottish friend for a child of the same age was accepted within 24 hours.

Meanwhile, a second application under the name ‘Sara Ahmad’ was rejected.


An investigation by the Daily Record newspaper also found that an application they made under the name ‘Aqsa Akhtar’ to the nursery was rejected, whilst one under the name of ‘Susan Blake’ was offered a choice of four afternoons.

Yousaf said that he has now reported the nursery to the Care Inspectorate, as well as having sought legal advice.

The nursery has said that it is “open and inclusive to all” and said that any claim to the contrary is “demonstrably false”, and that they would refute any such accusation in the “strongest possible terms”.


Detailing the experience on Twitter on Monday morning, Yousaf said the step taken by him and his wife had not been taken lightly.

He said: “After our nursery application for our daughter was refused a 2nd time, my wife asked her white Scottish friend to put in an application for a Child the same age.

“Within 24hrs of refusing our application my wife’s friend’s was accepted. I was sure there must be rational explanation but my wife felt differently.

“She created a profile with a white Scot name & made an application, she also asked her sister ‘Sara Ahmed’ to submit an application on same day. Her sister was rejected but white Scot application accepted.

“At this point we asked @anniebrownword at @Daily_Record to investigate. She created two profiles with kids same age, their requirements the same.

“‘Aqsa Akhtar’ application was rejected while ‘Susan Blake’ was offered a choice of 4 afternoons. No explanation has been forthcoming.”

Yousaf continued: “I cannot tell you how angry I am. As a father all I want to do is protect my girls, yet aged 2 I believe my daughter has faced discrimination.


“If this had not happened to me I’m not sure I would have believed it could happen in 2021. How many other families has this happened to?

“We are fooling ourselves if we believe discrimination doesn’t exist in Scotland. I believe evidence we have proves our case beyond doubt. As well as reporting the nursery to Care (Inspectorate) we are also seeking legal advice.”

He later Tweeted that it was his wife’s “gut instinct” that something wasn’t right with the application process, having given the nursery time to offer an explanation, he said.

Opposition party leaders have expressed their support for the health secretary.

Scottish Labour leader Anas Sarwar Tweeted: “I know this must hurt. Solidarity with @HumzaYousaf and Nadia.

“Profiling/assumptions based on names happens every day.

“In this case an application for nursery, in others for a job. This story also demonstrates why quality journalism is so important.”

Scottish Conservative leader Douglas Ross said: “This is an awful situation and no family or child should suffer discrimination because of their name and background. This should be investigated and stamped out.”

“We have nothing to hide and look forward to the opportunity to demonstrate the policies and procedures we have in place.”

Little Scholars Day Nursery spokesperson

A spokesperson for Little Scholars Day Nursery said: “Our nursery is extremely proud of being open and inclusive to all and any claim to the contrary is demonstrably false and an accusation that we would refute in the strongest possible terms.

“We also stand by the member of our staff, named by the media today, who has been with us since the nursery opened 14 years ago. She is professional, compassionate, incredibly hard working and a valued member of our team.

“In addition to our owners being of Asian heritage, across more than a decade we have regularly welcomed both children and staff from a range of different religious, cultural, ethnic and racial backgrounds including two Muslim families currently.

“We have also regularly made arrangements to accommodate different lifestyles by, for example, providing a halal menu for those children who come from Muslim families.

“We note Mr Yousaf’s call for a Care Inspectorate investigation and this is something we would absolutely welcome.

“We have nothing to hide and look forward to the opportunity to demonstrate the policies and procedures we have in place to ensure we are a nursery that is open and welcoming to all.”

Speaking to STV News following the response of the nursery, Yousaf called for an explanation or an apology.

He said: “I think their response is woefully inadequate. I’m not being unreasonable, all I’m asking for is a really simple, rational explanation of why three Muslim-sounding applicants, ethnic minority applicants, had their applications rejected, and sometimes within less than 24 hours, children of the same age, same requirements, but they were white-Scottish, were accepted.

“That’s all I want. Whether you serve halal meat, whether you’re Asian owners, entirely irrelevant. Explain why these three applicants were rejected and why three applicants were accepted.

“This defence, which frankly is a paraphrase of, ‘I can’t possibly be racist because my best friend is black’, well I’m sorry, that just doesn’t fly anymore.”

He added: “If they do not provide an explanation, or if they apologise, then we can look at not pursuing this further through the courts.

“If that is not forthcoming, then yes, there’s a Care Inspectorate investigation, I’ve had acknowledgement from the Care Inspectorate of the complaint, but also we are seeking and sought legal advice already.

“And if necessary, we will absolutely pursue this through the courts. Little Scholar’s Nursery and their owners should be in no doubt about that.”

ScotRail report suggesting 1000 jobs could be axed slammed

Trade union bosses have expressed anger at the report, which questions the viability of ticket offices in the future.

SNS group via SNS Group
Anger: Trade union bosses slam ScotRail report.

A ScotRail report suggesting 1000 jobs could be at risk and questioning if ticket offices will remain has been slammed by unions and politicians.

Trade union bosses have expressed anger after an internal report on the future of ScotRail questions whether “the provision of ticket offices is viable in the future” as the service begins to recover following the Covid-19 crisis.

The report also suggests that the franchise, currently owned by Abellio but due to enter public ownership next year, could make a permanent 10 per cent cut to services.

The National Union of Rail, Maritime, and Transport Workers (RMT) claims this would mean more than 85,000 services being cut annually and a loss of more than 1000 jobs.


The union has claimed the report seeks to “legitimise damaging cuts to Scotland’s rail network”, in a move that be a “kick in the teeth” to staff who have been key workers throughout the pandemic.

Trade union bosses also believe it runs counter to the country’s climate change targets. 

Transport Scotland said both it and the Scottish Government had no involvement in the report, while ScotRail claimed the report is not a formal proposal but contains recommendations on the future of the railway post-pandemic.

RMT General Secretary Mick Lynch said: “This report is a blatant attempt to further a cuts agenda that will be devastating for Scotland’s railway.


“On the one hand, the report rightly acknowledges that Scotland’s rail network has a central role to play in meeting climate-change targets, yet it goes on to advocate service cuts, ticket office closures, and job losses.

“This will make Scotland’s railway far less safe, secure, and accessible for passengers and runs counter to Scotland’s net-zero targets.

“With COP26 taking place in Scotland in November, and ScotRail coming into public ownership in eight months’ time, we need an alternative future for Scotland’s railway that values passengers and staff, and invests in creating a sustainable, affordable, and accessible rail network.”

The report was made by Professor Iain Docherty, a former non-executive director of ScotRail and Transport Scotland, and talks of the changes seen during the pandemic, and of the ‘unique platform’ to ‘reduce staff costs quickly’. 

The report states: “There is also a clear opportunity to explore how digital technologies and automation of certain functions could reduce revenue spend, but this will require addressing ‘difficult’ cultural and political questions.”

ScotRail is facing a financial crisis in the wake of the pandemic and is currently surviving off an emergency taxpayer support of more than £400m.

The franchise is coming under state control in March 2022, with Dutch-owned Abellio being stripped of the franchise three years early following an outcry over service failings and rising costs to taxpayers.


Scottish Conservatives transport minister Graham Simpson said: “The logic behind this report is deeply flawed.

“We want to see simpler fares and we want to make travelling by train easier, but you don’t do that by closing ticket offices. Not everyone will be able to buy tickets digitally, so this kind of idea risks creating a travelling underclass.

“We should be looking to invest in and expand our rail network and not follow this slash and burn approach.”

Scottish Labour slammed the proposals, calling them “irresponsible”.

Labour party transport spokesman Neil Bibby said: “This is an explosive report that appears to propose permanent cuts to pre-pandemic rail services of at least ten per cent.

“This would be economically, socially and environmentally irresponsible.

“The Transport Minister must immediately clarify the status of this report and rule out retrograde cuts to the rail network.

“We should be building up rail services, not cutting them back and cutting jobs across Scotland’s network.

“Labour stands with passengers and the workforce in the fight against cuts.”

A Transport Scotland spokesman said: “Transport Scotland is pressing ahead to put in place arrangements to mobilise a wholly owned company of the Scottish Government to provide ScotRail services when the current franchise expires as expected on March 31, 2022.

“Permission from the Government was not required by Abellio to commission this report and Scottish Government and Transport Scotland officials did not hold any discussions with Professor Docherty in relation to his report.

“Transport Scotland, as part of the Rail Recovery Task Force, uses Transport Focus’s passenger pulse research to identify the changing priorities and requirements of rail passengers during and post Covid-19. 

“This also provides a platform to assess the scale and pace of recovery from Covid and, in particular, the potential to move towards our policy vision of an integrated public sector controlled railway.”

A ScotRail spokesman said: “We are seeing a gradual increase in the number of customers returning to the railway due to the easing of travel restrictions and coronavirus controls, but with passenger numbers at only 50% of the pre-Covid level, this is not the time to put that recovery in jeopardy.

“Railway jobs are being put at risk by the reckless actions of the RMT and we are urging union bosses to call off divisive strikes and false narratives.”

Parents of Olympic champ Duncan Scott delighted with medal haul

The Alloa-born swimmer is the first British athlete to win four medals at a single Olympics.

Tom Pennington via Getty Images

By Jenness Mitchell & Alison McCallum

The parents of Olympic champion Duncan Scott are over the moon following his record-breaking medal haul at Tokyo 2020.

Alloa-born Scott is the first British athlete to win four medals at a single Olympics.

His parents, Nigel Scott and Joy Macnaughton, told STV News the swimmer’s three silvers and one gold have come after years of hard work.


Mr Scott said: “Really happy for him.

“This has come after a lot of training, a lot of preparation, a lot of development, and it’s lovely to see it happening, so yeah, really pleased for him.”

The champ’s family watched the Games at home, saying it was “great to watch”.

Mr Scott added: “We’ve tended not to go out to the big events, because frankly it’s too costly.


“But we’re quite good at watching him from home, but that doesn’t stop it from being nail-biting, I have to say.

“And trying to live in Tokyo time for a week has been a bit challenging. We’re a bit shattered from that too.”

The couple said they’ve not had much contact with their son, who likes to shut himself off during competitions.

Mr Scott joked: “No, no chance. The moment he goes off on these trips, he may communicate with other people, but her certainly doesn’t communicate with us.”

Ms Macnaughton added: “But that’s something we’ve always done.”

Mr Scott agreed, stating: “We’ve been used to that, and in fact I think it helps him because he gets in the zone.”

Scott won gold in the men’s 4x200m freestyle relay and silver in the solo event.


He also won silver in the 200m individual medley and in the men’s 4×100m medley relay.

The family plan to celebrate when he returns home.

Mr Scott added: “Yeah, we tend to go and get something to eat, go and have a meal together and, you know, get the family together and chat, and get Duncan to chat.”

Taxi driver cleared of mowing down and murdering passenger

Derek McClinton was accused of mowing down Craig Kearney in East Kilbride in 2017.

Police Scotland / © Google Maps 2020
Court: Jurors returned not proven verdict over death of Craig Kearney (pictured).

A taxi driver has been cleared of mowing down and killing a passenger.

Derek McClinton, 51, was accused of mowing down Craig Kearney in East Kilbride, South Lanarkshire on March 5 2017.

The 24 year-old amateur footballer – who played for AFC Bonnyholm in Glasgow’s Pollok – was found stricken on the road and never survived serious head injuries.

Prosecutors alleged McClinton, also of East Kilbride, had struck Mr Kearney before driving over him in his Skoda.


However on Monday, jurors returned a not proven verdict to a murder charge following a trial at the High Court in Glasgow.

Members of the taxi driver’s family sobbed in relief.

Lord Armstrong told McClinton: “The jury by their verdict have acquitted you – that being so, you are free to leave the dock.”

The court heard how McClinton had picked up Mr Kearney and others in Glasgow city centre en-route to East Kilbride.


Mr Kearney’s girlfriend Olivia Geraghty was also with him.

She told the trial: “I remember me and my friends talking in the back and Craig being quite cheeky to the driver.

“I remember him saying ‘specky’.”

McClinton later told police Mr Kearney had been struggling with his seatbelt and when the cabbie went to help, the passenger shouted: “What the f*** are you doing?”

One of the women in the back ordered him to calm down.

McClinton said he was “quite frightened”.

McClinton went on to describe Mr Kearney complaining about the route being taken and making threats.


After they stopped in East Kilbride, Mr Kearney allegedly damaged McClinton’s car.

Ms Geraghty told jurors how both men each looked as if they wanted to “fight”.

McClinton went on to claim he then spotted Mr Kearney with a brick or stone as the cabbie got back in his taxi.

The driver told police Mr Kearney was in the middle of the road and he “clipped” him as he drove off, fearful his window would be smashed.

McClinton insisted Mr Kearney, of Neilston, near Glasgow, was “animated” and “definitely conscious” when he left the normally quiet estate.

Mr Kearney was found badly hurt in a pool of blood.

Attempts were made to save him, but he never recovered.

McClinton had denied murder.

His QC Donald Findlay had argued during the trial there had been “insufficient evidence” lead that there had been any sort of “homicide” committed and that McClinton had even been involved.

Recreated Iron Age roundhouse given £51,000 following fire

The attraction, which is part of the Scottish Crannog Centre, burned down earlier this year

STV News
Blaze: Attraction given £51,000 of funding from Scottish Government.

A tourist attraction which was ravaged by a fire earlier this year has been given £51,000 of Scottish Government funding to help its recovery.

The Iron Age roundhouse, part of the Scottish Crannog Centre on the shore of Loch Tay, burned down on June 12.

Despite being engulfed in flames, the centre reopened five days later and continued to run events including sell-out performances of Romeo and Juliet, weekly music nights and a special midsummer celebration.

Ahead of plans to relocate next year, the funding will help cover some of the centre’s immediate costs.


Mike Benson, director of the centre, said: “We are incredibly thankful to The Scottish Government for this support.

“The fire is not the end of our story, it will become part of our story.

“This support will enable us to plan as we stride into our futures with confidence and to keep doing what we do best – to tell the inspirational stories of the Scottish crannog dwellers to the communities we are here to serve near and far.”

More than £12,000 has been raised on a JustGiving page.


The timeframe for developing a new Crannog Centre on the north shore of the loch at Dalerb will be re-examined ahead of hopefully going ahead next year.

Culture Minister Jenny Gilruth said: “I’m glad that the Scottish Government has been able to support the Crannog Centre after the recent devastating fire – I very much hope that this funding will support the first steps of the centre’s recovery.

“It is testament to their ambition and the dedication of the Crannog’s staff that they have reopened so swiftly, under incredibly difficult circumstances.

“It is clear that the excellent work of the centre is much valued by local communities with their strong record of providing employment opportunities and supporting vocational learning.”

The centre is almost halfway to its initial crowdfunding target, which can be found here.

Sturgeon invites Johnson for Covid talks in Edinburgh

First Minister says the UK and Scottish Governments 'must work together where we can' to tackle coronavirus pandemic.

Pool/Pool via Getty Images / WPA Pool/Pool via Getty Images
Nicola Sturgeon has invited Boris Johnson for coronavirus talks in Edinburgh.

Nicola Sturgeon has invited Prime Minister Boris Johnson to Bute House for talks on the current coronavirus situation and recovery plans from the pandemic.

The First Minister wrote to Johnson, who is visiting Scotland later this week, saying although they disagree politically, the UK and Scottish Governments “must work together where we can”.

The letter, which she posted on her Twitter account, read: “I understand you will be in Scotland later this week and thought this might offer us an opportunity to meet in person in Edinburgh for a discussion on the current Covid situation and our respective plans for recovery – focussing, obviously, on the areas where it is important that our governments work together.

“I would be happy to welcome you to Bute House and hereby extend an invitation. If you are suitable, perhaps your Private Office could contact mine to discuss suitable arrangements?”


The Scottish Government has taken a different approach to that adopted by the UK Government in England with respect to how coronavirus has been handled.

While all restrictions have been lifted in England, Sturgeon is still to confirm if this can happen north of the border from August 9 – with a statement due to be made on Tuesday.

She has also warned people in Scotland that the use of face coverings in places such as shops and public transport will most likely remain in place for some time.

Scotland records 799 new Covid cases and one death

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon will announce on Tuesday whether Scotland is able to further ease restrictions.

BlackJack3D via IStock
The statistics were published by the Scottish Government on Monday.

Scotland has recorded 799 new cases of coronavirus and one death in the last 24 hours.

Official statistics published on Monday also showed that 407 people are in hospital with the virus.

A total of 60 people are in intensive care receiving treatment for coronavirus.

Just over four million people have had their first dose of the Covid-19 vaccine, whilst around 3.2m have had their second dose.


On Tuesday, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon will announce whether Scotland will be able to further ease coronavirus restrictions from August 9.

The SNP leader will speak at the Scottish Parliament following a decision being made on whether the country is able to move out of the current levels system.

Ministers have indicated that even if restrictions are indeed eased on that date, a number of measures are still expected to remain in place, such as the wearing of face coverings.

In England, all main legal coronavirus restrictions were lifted by the UK Government on July 19, with social distancing and mask wearing dropped and nightclubs reopening, among other changes.

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