Humza Yousaf to give evidence at UK Covid-19 Inquiry

The First Minister will appear for questioning as the UK Covid Inquiry continues in Edinburgh.

First Minister Humza Yousaf will give evidence at the Covid-19 Inquiry on Thursday.

Professor Jason Leitch on Tuesday told the inquiry that he deleted WhatsApp messages in line with the Scottish Government’s policy on the use and retention of informal messaging.

The inquiry also heard that, in November 2021, Professor Leitch gave Yousaf, who at the time was health secretary, advice on how to remain exempt from wearing a mask at a function, by holding a drink.

Scottish Labour’s health spokeswoman, Dame Jackie Baillie, said Prof Leitch appeared to have advised Yousaf “how to avoid the rules” – referring to a discussion the two had on mask-wearing.

She said: “It is clear that Jason Leitch wiped his messages completely and seem to find the period during the pandemic all quite funny, judging from the messages we have seen.”

Baillie continued: “If the Scottish Government agrees that Jason Leitch’s behaviour was inappropriate, is it not time that he was sacked?”

It comes after the Inquiry heard evidence from scientists regarding the handling of the pandemic on Wednesday.

Mark Woolhouse, professor of infectious disease epidemiology at the University of Edinburgh, Stephen Reicher, professor of psychology at the University of St Andrews, Dr Pablo Grez at the University of Strathclyde, and Susan McVie, professor of quantitative criminology at the University of Edinburgh all appeared for questioning.

The inquiry continues in Edinburgh.

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