Nicola Sturgeon has said she will regret any mistakes made by her government in its handling of the coronavirus pandemic “forever”.
The First Minister said that she had done her “level best” every single day of the pandemic to get decisions right.
But, she acknowledged that she would have done things differently if it was possible to turn back the clock and in light of developing knowledge of the virus.
At First Minister’s Questions, Scottish Labour leader Anas Sarwar pressed Sturgeon over mistakes made last year at the start of the crisis.
He said: “Last week, we heard damning evidence from Dominic Cummings about the UK Government’s response to Covid-19.
“He painted a picture of chaos and confusion, poor preparation and almost criminal levels of negligence that lead to avoidable deaths.
“He outlined a series of failures, a lack of PPE, insufficient testing, Covid positive patients being sent into care homes, and inconsistent and delayed decision making.
“Last week at First Minister’s Questions, the First Minister was rightly critical of the chaos Dominic Cummings described.
“But, does she accept that many of the same decisions were made in Scotland by this First Minister and by the Scottish Government?”
The First Minister said: “I take responsibility for all of the decisions, I’ve never tried to shy away from it.
“I’ll live with the consequences of those decisions for as long as I live.
“And those decisions will be subject to serious scrutiny, that is right and proper. We sought all along to do the right things based on the knowledge and the understanding we had.
“In light of developing knowledge, some of these things, if we could turn the clock back, we would do differently.
“And, in addition to that, as I have said all along, we will have made straight forward mistakes and I will regret any mistakes we made forever.”
The First Minister continued: “I have taken responsibility and will continue to take responsibility. I have done my level best every single day of this pandemic to get the decisions right.
“If I could turn the clock back, would we go into lockdown earlier than we did? Yes, I think that is true.
“We did move on mass gatherings slightly before the UK Government, we announced the position on schools slightly before the UK Governent.
“When you look at the different pandemic curves, although we went into lockdown on the same day as the rest of the UK, it was slightly ahead of the pandemic curve for Scotland.”
She added: “If I could turn the clock back, there’s many things I would love to have the opportunity to do differently.
“Of course, the irony now from many of the same people who criticise me, perfectly legitimately, for not acting quickly enough, or for being not cautious enough at an earlier stage, are the same people who often criticise me now for being too cautious and for going too slowly in lifting lockdown restrictions.”