PM ‘deeply sorry’ but expert warns UK could see 50,000 more deaths

Boris Johnson insisted he takes 'full responsibility' for the response to the pandemic.

Coronavirus: Boris Johnson insisted he takes 'full responsibility' for the response to the pandemic. Jonathan Kirn via Getty Images
Coronavirus: Boris Johnson insisted he takes 'full responsibility' for the response to the pandemic.

The UK could see another 50,000 deaths from coronavirus, a scientist advising the Government has warned, as the Prime Minister said he was “deeply sorry” for every life lost.

Boris Johnson insisted he takes “full responsibility” for the response to the pandemic and said “we did everything we could” to minimise suffering as the Government’s figure for coronavirus deaths passed 100,000. 

Separate data published by statistics agencies places the toll at 115,000.

Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer said it was a “national tragedy” and accused the Government of being “behind the curve at every stage” in its response to the pandemic, ahead of grilling Johnson during Prime Minister’s Questions on Wednesday.


On Tuesday, deputy first minister John Swinney said passengers arriving in Scotland could be made to quarantine in hotels.

Home secretary Priti Patel is widely expected to announce a limited plan for new arrivals in England when she later details to the House of Commons border protections against new coronavirus variants arriving from overseas.

Northern Ireland’s First Minister Arlene Foster said a four-nations approach to the issue was being taken.

The Times reported that Patel had pushed for a temporary closure of the UK’s borders to stop the spread of the variants but was overruled by the PM.


Johnson told a Downing Street press conference: “I think on this day I should just really repeat that I am deeply sorry for every life that has been lost and of course as I was Prime Minister I take full responsibility for everything that the Government has done.

“What I can tell you is that we truly did everything we could, and continue to do everything that we can, to minimise loss of life and to minimise suffering in what has been a very, very difficult stage…

“And a very, very difficult crisis for our country, and we will continue to do that, just as every government that is affected by this crisis around the world is continuing to do the same.”

Professor Calum Semple, who sits on the Government’s Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (Sage), predicted there could be another 50,000 deaths from coronavirus, and warned that every Covid fatality “represents probably four or five people who survive but are damaged” by the disease.

“It would really not surprise me if we’re looking at another 40-50,000 deaths before this burns out,” he told BBC Two’s Newsnight programme.

In March, before the Prime Minister announced the first national lockdown, chief scientific adviser Sir Patrick Vallance said keeping the death toll below 20,000 would be a “good outcome”.

Referring to the 100,000 deaths now surpassed, Johnson said it was “hard to compute the sorrow contained in that grim statistic”.


Sir Keir, who will appear at PMQs from home while self-isolating, urged the Government to make quarantining in hotels mandatory for all new arrivals as he accused the Prime Minister of having shown a “reluctance to take tough decisions” throughout the pandemic.

There was no official comment following the meeting of the Covid operations committee of senior ministers on Tuesday, but Whitehall sources ahead of the talks suggested the measures could stop short of mandatory hotel quarantines for all arrivals.

They suggested that the measure may only apply to British nationals returning from high-risk nations, with passengers expected to cover the price of quarantining.

The Times reported that the committee rejected calls for a full border closure and will instead limit it to those returning from 30 countries already covered by the travel ban, including those in South America, Portugal and Cape Verde, as well as South Africa and neighbouring nations.

If confirmed, Labour’s shadow home secretary Nick Thomas-Symonds said ministers would be “leaving gaping holes in our nation’s defences” with the “half-baked” proposal.

Nicola Sturgeon re-elected as First Minister at Holyrood

MSPs voted to re-elect the SNP leader in a vote at the Scottish Parliament on Tuesday afternoon.

Jeff J Mitchell via Getty Images

Nicola Sturgeon said that it is “time to think big” as she was officially re-elected as the First Minister of Scotland.

MSPs voted to re-elect Sturgeon to the position, which she has held since November 2014, in a vote at the Scottish Parliament on Tuesday.

The vote formalises the process for the SNP leader to become First Minister, ahead of her name being put forward to the Queen to be confirmed in office.

Sturgeon highlighted the importance of recovering from the coronavirus pandemic, addressing the climate emergency and giving Scotland a choice on its future in making her nomination speech.


The only other candidates for the position were the Scottish Conservatives leader Douglas Ross and Scottish Liberal Democrats leader Willie Rennie.

“This past year has been the most challenging that we have ever experienced,” Sturgeon told MSPs at Holyrood.

“During the election campaign I said that my overriding duty was to do everything possible to keep our country safe.

“And if nominated today that will indeed be my first and my driving priority, to lead us through this pandemic and to lead us into recovery – recovery of our economy, our National Health Service and of our society.


“Some Covid restrictions of course have eased now because of the incredible sacrifices of people across our country and the magnificent success of the vaccination programme.

“But, we know this crisis is not over as the current situation in Moray and in Glasgow reminds us very starkly.

“And as we look around the world, we also can see more clearly than ever before that none of us will be entirely safe until everyone across our planet is safe.”

The SNP leader said that in emerging from the Covid crisis, countries across the globe will be “re-imagining the kind of society they want to be”.

She said: “This past year has demonstrated as never before our common humanity and that all of our fates are intertwined.

“And of course, we see that in the climate emergency too. That is why COP26 in Glasgow later this year will be such a crucial event for our country and indeed for the world.

“Countries across the globe will be re-thinking and re-imagining the kind of society they want to be as they emerge from the crisis.


“Here in Scotland, we must do so too.”

Sturgeon pledged to continue to work with members across the chamber in implementing a programme to kick-start the recovery from the pandemic.

She told MSPs: “This is a time to think big, it is a time to be pioneers. Just as in many other northern European countries, I believe there is broad agreement in Scotland about the kind of country we want to be – a more equal society, with much greater economic security.

“A country committed to building a sustainable future for generations to come, a Scotland that is an equal partner with our friends in the rest of the UK and across Europe, a welcoming country, not one that conducts dawn raids in multicultural communities.

“In government, I have sought over this past year to work across the chamber throughout the Covid crisis. If re-nominated today, I will continue to do so as we do implement a programme to kick-start recovery.

“That will be a programme with the NHS, the economy and jobs at its heart. And we will take an inclusive approach to the debate that all countries must have about how we can build the best possible post-pandemic future.

“And in that endeavour, everyone in Scotland deserves to have an equal say. Scotland’s future must be Scotland’s choice.”

Sturgeon added: “Serving as our country’s First Minister is an immense privilege, but it is also an enormous responsibility and an enormous duty.

“And I am ready, with the confidence of parliament I hope, to get on with the job of leading this country to brighter and to better times.”

Coronavirus: Infection rates still rising in some council areas

Transmission rate rising in East Renfrewshire and Midlothian, as another 268 cases are recorded in last 24 hours.

Peter-gamal via Pixabay
Coronavirus: A further 268 cases recorded in last 24 hours.

The rate of new Covid-19 infections is continuing to rise in East Renfrewshire, with the local authority area now seeing a case rate of 94.2 per 100,000 people.

The rate is higher than Glasgow’s when it was announced on Friday the city would be kept in level three restrictions.

Figures from Public Health Scotland published on Tuesday showed the rolling seven-day average in all Scottish council areas up until Saturday, May 15.

This rate is also rising in Midlothian and is currently at 57.3, having more than doubled in a week.


The latest seven-day average per 100,000 population in Glasgow is 104.6 cases, well above the level two benchmark of 50 cases.

In Moray, the case rate has fallen from 59.5 to 48.

An urgent question is being asked in the Scottish Parliament on Tuesday afternoon about rising cases in Glasgow and the surrounding area.

It comes as Scotland recorded 268 new coronavirus cases in the past 24 hours, the latest Scottish Government figures show.


No new deaths have been recorded meaning the death toll under this daily measure – of people who first tested positive for the virus within the previous 28 days – remains at 7664.

A total of 230,042 people have tested positive for the virus and the daily test positivity rate is 1.7%, up from 1.6% the previous day.

A total of 70 people were in hospital on Monday with recently confirmed Covid-19, up two, with four patients in intensive care, up one.

So far, 3,045,152 people have received the first dose of a Covid-19 vaccination and 1,669,469 have received their second dose.

Meanwhile, NHS Fife said five or more individuals have had to self-isolate at more than a dozen schools across the local authority area where a case of Covid-19 has been identified in a pupil or member of staff.

The schools that have been affected are:

  • Balwearie High School – Kirkcaldy
  • Beath High School – Cowdenbeath
  • Bell Baxter High School – Cupar
  • Burntisland Primary School
  • Dunfermline High School
  • Gallatown Nursery – Kirkcaldy
  • Glenwood High School – Glenrothes
  • King’s Road Primary School – Rosyth
  • Kirkcaldy High School
  • Kirkcaldy North Primary School & Nursery
  • Mountfleurie Nursery – Leven
  • Queen Anne High School – Dunfermline
  • Rosslyn School – Kirkcaldy
  • Sinclairtown Primary School – Kirkcaldy
  • South Parks Nursery – Glenrothes
  • St Columba’s RC High School – Dunfermline
  • Touch Primary School – Dunfermline
  • Warout Primary School – Glenrothes
  • Woodmill High School – Dunfermline

A spokesperson for NHS Fife said: “We are aware of an increase in Covid-19 cases in the Kirkcaldy area, including instances of the new B.1.617 variant first identified in India.


“People in the local area are being urged to get tested at one of the drop-in testing venues in Kirkcaldy. Details of these are available at:”

Killer jailed 36 years after mother-of-11 strangled to death

Graham McGill sentenced to minimum of 14 years after DNA solves decades-old mystery of Mary McLaughlin.

Crown Office via E-mail
Mary McLaughlin was found dead in her Glasgow flat in 1984.

A man has been given a life sentence for the murder of a Glasgow woman more than 36 years ago.

Graham McGill, 59, was found guilty at the High Court in Glasgow last month of killing Mary McLaughlin in her Partick flat in September 1984.

The mother-of-eleven’s body was found on October 2, 1984, six days after she was last seen.

The 58-year-old had been on a night out in the west end of the city and left a bar to go to a chip shop on the way home.


The jury heard she met McGill and they returned to Ms McLaughlin’s flat, where he attacked and strangled her with her own dressing gown cord.

Her body was found days later by one of her sons.

Crown Office via E-mail
Mary McLaughlin.

McGill was charged with murder in 2019 after a new investigation into the killing – under the direction of the Procurator Fiscal – matched his DNA to that found on items belonging to Ms McLaughlin.

Serial offender McGill was serving a prison sentence for another crime at the time of the killing but had been granted home leave in preparation for his release.


At the High Court in Aberdeen today, McGill was told he must serve a minimum of 14 years in prison.

Sentencing him, Judge Lord Burns said: “36 years after the death of Mary McLaughlin, you have been convicted of her murder. She was 58 when she died and you were 22. You are now 59.

“Her family has had to wait all that time in order to discover who was responsible for that act knowing that whoever did it was probably at large in the community.

“They had never given up the hope that some day they would find out what had happened to her. They have been deprived of her love and companionship.

“It is due to the perseverance of police authorities and, in particular, the forensic biologists, that your guilt could be demonstrated.

“The evidence showed that your chance encounter with Mary McLaughlin that night allowed you to take advantage of a vulnerable and lonely woman who was probably intoxicated.

“The attack took place within her own home to which she may have invited you. She was wholly unable to defend herself against any attack from someone like you.


“You proceeded to strangle her with a cord until she was dead. You then left her in her house.

“From the evidence of Suzanne Russell, to which I can have regard, it may be that you made a calculated decision to kill this woman.

“She was eventually found by one of her sons. You continue to deny any responsibility for your actions. You, therefore, show no remorse for this murder.”

McGill was convicted following a trial at the High Court in Glasgow last month.

Crown Office via E-mail
Mary McLaughlin’s flat.

Procurator Fiscal for Homicide and Major Crime David Green said: “This was a challenging investigation requiring complex and thorough work by specialist prosecutors.

“Under their direction, experts in forensic science saw an opportunity to use modern DNA techniques to analyse evidence from the scene that had been preserved by the original investigating officers before such techniques were available to them.  This foresight ultimately led to Graham McGill’s conviction. 

“Unresolved homicides are never closed, and the Crown is committed to working with police to bring these cases to court wherever possible.

“Our thoughts remain with Mary’s family, and I hope the sentence imposed today goes some way towards providing resolution for them.”

McGill did not feature in the 1984 investigation. Officers then discovered that McGill had been on weekend release from prison at the time Mary was murdered.

Over the coming months, officers re-examined paperwork, revisited several original witnesses at the time and utilised updated technology to gather the evidence needed to arrest Graham McGill.

The investigation culminated in the arrest of McGill on December 4, 2019.

Detective Superintendent Suzanne Chow said: “Despite crimes occurring years ago, there is always hope of solving them one day, they are never forgotten.

“Mary’s family has waited a long time for justice and I hope today’s verdict provides some form of resolution for them.

“It is fitting to know that despite the passage of time, justice has finally been served. In all case reviews, families are uppermost in our minds and we work hard to present the best evidential case to ensure successful convictions.”

During the case review, a number of items from the original investigation were identified for priority examination.

Unidentified samples taken at the time of the murder, were re-examined and they matched McGill. 

SPA Forensic Scientist Joanne Cochrane said: “The SPA Forensic Services Cold Case Review Team carried out a full forensic review of this case which identified a number of items for further DNA analysis using the very latest technologies available.

“This analysis resulted in finding DNA attributable to Graham McGill on several items, including a cigarette end, the ligature around Mary McLaughlin’s neck, and on the dress she had been wearing.”

Senior police officer defends ‘balanced’ Rangers operation

Assistant chief constable says there are 'plenty of armchair critics' as he praises 'first class' policing operation at weekend.

Jeff J Mitchell via Getty Images

A senior police officer has defended Saturday’s operation to contain violent scenes in Glasgow’s George Square, where thousands of Rangers supporters had gathered to celebrate their club’s Premiership victory.

Assistant chief constable Gary Ritchie told Scotland Tonight the operation was “first-class” and was “balanced and proportionate throughout the day”.

Five police officers were injured and 28 arrests were made as a result of Saturday’s disorder, which came after the Ibrox side were presented with the Scottish Premiership trophy after completing the league season undefeated.

The scenes have been heavily criticised by political leaders, police officers and council officials.


The Scottish Police Federation said officers on the ground had told them they faced the worst violence they had dealt with in 20 years.

Ritchie said: “There’s plenty of armchair critics out there (who) can just look at the scenes that they see on their TV or on their laptop and make decisions.

“But in actual fact, I think the policing operation was first class and I think it was balanced and proportionate throughout the day.

“Every single one of the 15,000 people that came out at the weekend – to gather at Ibrox or in the other demonstrations and protests – did so selfishly in contravention of the rules and the regulations that were put in place to try and keep the people of the city safe.


“They (police officers) were shocked and definitely affected by the violence that they faced on the day – it was unusual. However, they acted extremely professionally in the face of that aggression.”

A special team of police will investigate the incidents that took place at and around George Square in Glasgow on Saturday.

The dedicated inquiry – named Operation Shearling – will track those involved using CCTV, video and photographs from the scene.

An online portal has been set-up so that the public can send detectives any video footage or photographs of incidents that took place on May 15.

Rangers said on Monday a “small minority of people behaved inappropriately and in a manner not reflective of our support” after thousands of fans defied Covid-19 warnings against large gatherings and massed in George Square at the weekend.

The club issued a statement condemning the scenes, describing them as “unacceptable” saying they “besmirched the good name of Rangers Football Club”.

Images on Saturday showed George Square strewn with hundreds of broken bottles, plastic bags and spent flares after flag-draped fans had been seen attacking each other and launching traffic cones, plastic bollards and other missiles at lines of riot gear-clad police officers.


Deputy first minister John Swinney said on Monday “every exhortation was given by Police Scotland, the Scottish Government and Rangers Football Club” as he condemned the action of fans as “absolutely reprehensible”.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said she had been inudanted with messages about the “disgraceful scenes”.

Meanwhile, Scottish FA President Rod Petrie said the images “represent an abomination, not a celebration”, adding they “brought embarrassment to the national game”.

He said in a statement: “While the majority of the club’s fan base will have celebrated this achievement safely and in line with COVID-19 guidelines across the country and beyond, the scenes witnessed in and around Glasgow’s George Square have brought embarrassment to the national game.

Former army sniper robbed OAP while on run from prison

Garry Roughley pounced on the 76-year-old woman outside her home in Dunfermline in 2018.

Police Scotland
Jailed: Garry Roughley attacked pensioner in her own home.

A former army sniper who robbed a terrified elderly widow in her home while on the run from prison has been jailed for six years. 

Garry Roughley, 39, pounced on Helen Ritchie, 76, after lying in wait outside her house in Dunfermline on May 4, 2018.

He bound and gagged the pensioner, stole jewellery and bank cards, and cut phone lines before fleeing.

Roughley, who had a previous conviction for kidnapping, remained at large for more than two years before finally being brought to justice. 


On Tuesday, prosecutors asked judge Lady Scott to order that Roughley be assessed for an Order for Lifelong Restriction – an effective life sentence. 

Crown lawyer Alex Prentice QC told Lady Scott that the circumstances of Roughley’s assault on Ms Ritchie and his previous conviction for kidnapping meant he met the criteria for assessment.

But after hearing from defence advocate Michael Anderson, Lady Scott decided to send Roughley to prison for six years.

Lady Scott added: “I am not satisfied that the criteria for a risk assessment has been made out in this case.


“You did not use any weapon and the violence used in this particular case was limited.

“However, this is a very serious offence. It was planned. You targeted an elderly woman. I am satisfied that the circumstances for an extended sentence is made out. 

“I would urge you to use your time in custody to learn how to turn away from offending.”

Roughley had pleaded guilty to six charges earlier this year before judge Lady Scott at the High Court in Glasgow. 

Sentence had been deferred for the court to obtain reports about his background. 

At an earlier hearing, the court heard how Roughley committed the crime shortly after absconding from HMP Thorn Cross in Cheshire.

He had been serving a sentence for burglary at the time.


The court was told how Ms Ritchie was grabbed while outside the house and ordered to her knees. She had returned to the house after enjoying dinner with her friends.

The attacker – armed with a knife – yelled: “Woman, shut up and you will not get hurt.”

The OAP was forced inside, blindfolded and had her hands bound with cable ties. Her mouth was also taped and her legs were tied to a chair.

Prosecutor Eric Robertson told the court: “He asked was there a man in the house, but she told him her husband had died.

“He then said, ‘there was someone here last night’.”

He demanded the PIN numbers for her bank cards, threatening he would “return” if he did not get them.

He then raced off with rings, a brooch, a pearl necklace and a watch from the house.

Ms Ritchie’s neighbour was suspicious when he noticed a light on in her home late at night.

He went on to discover her still tied to the chair.

The robber was linked to a stolen Vauxhall Mokka and £200 being withdrawn using a stolen bank card at a local ATM.

On Tuesday, Mr Anderson told the court that Roughley was sorry for the attack. 

He added: “[He] is deeply ashamed of his actions and is deeply remorseful for what has happened. 

“He has a good work record and ethic. He has previously set up and ran a successful business in Glasgow.” 

Lady Scott also ordered Roughley to be supervised for three years following his release from custody.

Call for those who missed vaccine appointment to come forward

As Glasgow and Moray remain in level three restrictions, officials are looking to trace those who have not had the jab.

Javier Zayas Photography via Getty Images
Vaccine: Those who missed first appointment urged to come forward.

Scotland’s national clinical director has stressed the importance of finding those in Glasgow who missed their first vaccine appointment amid a coronavirus outbreak in the city.

Professor Jason Leitch said that even though this was only around 10% to 15% of the population, it was still a “significant number of people”.

On the BBC’s Good Morning Scotland radio programme, he was also asked about the situations in East Renfrewshire and Midlothian, where cases are rising.

Glasgow and Moray remain in level three restrictions despite the rest of mainland Scotland moving to level two on Monday.


Discussing the vaccination efforts in Glasgow, Prof Leitch said: “The ones most likely to get seriously unwell are the percentage difference between 100 and those we managed to vaccinate in that older age group.

“It’s somewhere between 10-15%. In some places it’s only 5%.

“But 5% of a big number is a big number. So it’s still a significant number of people that we really want to get vaccinated.”

He urged people who had missed either a first or second dose to come forward, saying “we’d love to give you that full protection”.


Public health teams in Glasgow have also decided to offer vaccination to some in the 18 to 39-year-old age group.

Prof Leitch said there had been a “little uptick” of cases in Midlothian and East Renfrewshire, saying the First Minister and her new cabinet would take a decision later this week on whether levels of restriction needed to change.

The national clinical director also responded to comments from Professor Sir John Curtice, who said he had struggled with the Scottish Government’s vaccine helpline.

Sir John, 67, told The Herald that he had waited more than 14 weeks for his second dose and the helpline team had been unable to resolve the issue despite three weeks of calls.

The polling expert said: “The problem seems to be that the helpline is unable to solve the problem that it identifies.”

Prof Leitch said he was “sorry” Sir John had gone through three weeks of consultation without success, but there was “no difference clinically” between a 12-week and 14-week wait.

He said: “I don’t think it’s fair to say the helpline is not working.


“I think it’s fair to say there are some people for who the helpline isn’t working as quickly as it should and we’re trying to correct that as much as we can.”

Teenager charged after two women attacked at station

Two women were allegedly assaulted on Saturday night.

British Transport Police via BTP
Police: Teenager arrested and charged.

A teenager has been charged with assaulting two passengers at a train station in North Lanarkshire.

One young woman was left severely injured after the alleged assault at Coatbridge Sunnyside station on Saturday at 7.30pm

She is currently being treated in hospital for severe leg injuries.

Her friend rushed to her aid and was also reportedly attacked by the same person, who police said was wearing a Rangers flag around her neck.


An 18-year-old woman has now been arrested and charged in connection with the incident.

She is due to appear at Airdrie Sheriff Court on Tuesday.

‘Mull is protected – now we desperately need visitors’

Hotels and attractions hope business will soon be booming after the island moves to level one.

STV News

Mull is “thoroughly protected” by Covid vaccines and ready to welcome back “desperately needed” visitors, businesses have said.

The island is now in level one of the coronavirus restrictions, meaning life is edging closer to normal.

And with the rules loosened across most of Scotland, people can travel anywhere except Glasgow or Moray.

While some local residents are more apprehensive about visitors flocking to Mull, hotels and attractions are keen to make up for the lost 2020 tourism season.


Tobermory Hotel owner Robert MacLeod believes the vaccine rollout has created optimism and confidence.

“Last July, it was a lot of fear and trepidation from the community because of the people coming back to the island,” he said.

“This year it feels totally different because of the level of vaccination. The island is thoroughly protected now. 

“All of the vulnerable categories are being looked after and they’re now accepting the fact that the island has to open up for business again.


“That’s desperately needed and it’s very, very welcome.”

Visitors to Mull are being encouraged by the Scottish Government to take two lateral flow tests before their trip – one three days before travelling and again on the day of departure.

Under level one restrictions:

  • Up to six adults from three households can meet socially in each other’s homes, eight in an indoor public place and 12 from 12 households outdoors;
  • Alcohol can be served indoors with hospitality venues allowed to stay open till 11pm.

Popular visitor attraction the Tobermory Distillery has been hit hard during the pandemic and shut production down completely for several months last year.

But the easing of restrictions mean tastings can now restart.

“I always deeply believe you have to try before you buy a single malt Scotch whisky because they are different, just like people are,” said the distillery’s Oliver Maclean.

“We are so excited to have the opportunity to take our guests again into our distillery visitor centre and give them a taste of our brand.”

STV News
Tastings can restart at the Tobermory Distillery.

Meanwhile, volunteers at the Tobermory Museum can’t wait to welcome back visitors after an 18-month shutdown.

“There’s some apprehension about opening and how it’s going to work and how people are going to enjoy it again,” admitted museum chairman Denis Broad.

“But it’s great, it’s wonderful that we’re getting people back and people seem to want to be back.”

Edinburgh Tattoo cancelled for second year amid pandemic

The annual event was due to return to the city in August, but organisers have postponed it due to financial fears.

georgeclerk via IStock
Tattoo: Annual event cancelled due to pandemic.

The Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo has been cancelled for a second year. 

The annual event is part of the Edinburgh Festivals which take place through the month of August.

Held near Edinburgh Castle, the show encompasses acts from military organisations, dancers and pipe bands and culminates in a fireworks display each night.

The tattoo was cancelled in 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic, however organisers have decided to postpone the show for another year. 


Organisers said it would be “irresponsible to press on and to risk the longer-term financial viability of our charity” by staging the tattoo in 2021. 

Chief executive, Buster Howes, said: “Despite the sense of optimism around the UK’s emergence from the pandemic and our huge enthusiasm to stage a performance this year, it is now clear that the financial risks we confront in delivering The Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo, at scale, on the Castle Esplanade in August are simply too great.  

“Consequently, it is with enormous regret and disappointment that we announce the cancellation of the 2021 Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo.

“We have for months forensically monitored, assessed and sought to mitigate the constraints and uncertainties involved in mounting our show. However, we now reluctantly conclude it would be irresponsible to press on and to risk the longer-term financial viability of our charity, without the ability to underwrite and to offset the potential, substantial economic losses associated with last-minute cancellation obliged by changes in public health policy.


“This has been a very difficult decision. We appreciate it has far-reaching implications for our staff, performers, suppliers, and guests, but we must act responsibly and, in the best, long-term interests of all. Tickets for 2021 will be refunded in full: for those wishing to join us next year, tickets can be transferred to 2022.

“A tremendous amount of energy and effort goes into planning and delivering each Tattoo and this year was no exception.  This is a very disappointing outcome.  We will now refocus to find other ways to contribute to the national spirit of recovery this year and to surprise and delight the people of our city and from further afield.

“We would like to thank all our ticket holders, friends and stakeholders for their patience over the past year as we have navigated the uncertainty of the pandemic.  

“Their continuing commitment and support has been much appreciated by everyone at the Tattoo and we look forward to welcoming them back to the esplanade in the future.”

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