Nicola Sturgeon brands Janey Godley tweets ‘beyond the pale’

Covid-19 adverts were withdrawn after comedian's offensive tweets came to light.

Nicola Sturgeon brands Janey Godley tweets ‘beyond the pale’ PA Ready via PA Media
Nicola Sturgeon comments on Jane Godley's tweets.

Comments by comedian Janey Godley, which saw government adverts featuring her withdrawn, were “beyond the pale”, Nicola Sturgeon has said.

Offensive tweets from the independence supporting comedian came to light following an investigation by the Daily Beast website.

The news broke soon after the Covid-19 ads featuring Ms Godley, for which she was paid £12,000, were released.

The comedian has profusely apologised for the tweets and donated the fee she was paid by the Scottish Government to charity.

Advertisement

Speaking on the BBC’s Good Morning Scotland radio programme, the First Minister said: “The tweets that were brought to my attention yesterday were completely unacceptable, completely beyond the pale.

“I would not in any way, shape or form seek to defend them.

“The most important thing is we don’t allow commentary and debate, legitimate and understandable debate around those to get in the way of our public health messages and that for me is the most important principle here.”

The First Minister also said there were “no plans” to feature Ms Godley in other government adverts.

Advertisement

When asked about the decision to scrap the videos, the First Minister said: “These things happen. The important thing is that action was taken.

“The most important thing to me from the start of this pandemic has been the integrity of our public health message and that has involved difficult decisions from me over the past 18 months and that’s the priority we have attached to this particular incident.”

She added: “Janey has apologised – I think she has been pretty straightforward and dignified in her apology.

“She’s a comedian – as she said herself she thought it gave her licence to say things that she now accepts were completely out of order and unacceptable.”

In a statement posted to Twitter on Thursday, Ms Godley said: “I thought being an outspoken comedian meant I could get away with saying anything I wanted and people would accept that and not take it out of context, but that’s completely wrong.

“I have to stand up and own my offensive, hurtful language and apologise.

“They have horrific undertones and I deserve all the criticism that comes my way.”

Advertisement

Ms Sturgeon went on to say: “When people make mistakes, the culture we live in, the climate we live in these days is pretty unforgiving.

“Therefore, I’m a great believer that when people make mistakes, and I apply this to myself as well, it’s really important to hold your hands up to it and apologise where that is required.

“But perhaps we should all recognise that none of us are infallible.”