Sturgeon promises ‘transformational’ increase in NHS cash

SNP leader says her party is putting the health service at the heart of its plans for the next five years.

Nicola Sturgeon is pledging a ‘transformational’ increase in NHS funding if SNP win Holyrood election. Jane Barlow via PA Media
Nicola Sturgeon is pledging a ‘transformational’ increase in NHS funding if SNP win Holyrood election.

Nicola Sturgeon will promise a “transformational” spending increase for the Scottish NHS if the SNP wins next month’s Holyrood elections.

In the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, Sturgeon will set out how her party is putting the health service at the heart of its plans for the next five years.

The SNP manifesto for the May 6 Scottish Parliament election will contain a pledge to boost frontline NHS spending by at least 20% – a move which would see frontline spending rise by more than £2.5bn by the end of the next Holyrood term.

Sturgeon’s party will also promise voters a £10bn programme on investment in NHS facilities, combined with a minimum 25% rise in mental health spending and the establishment of a National Care Service.

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The SNP leader will tell voters how the coronavirus pandemic has “turned life as we know it upside down”.

She will say: “As we recover, we have the opportunity to reimagine our country. Not to return just to how things were – but to build a better nation.”

In a manifesto that she will claim is both “practical” and “unashamedly optimistic”, the First Minister will insist her party has a “transformational ambition”.

She will state: “In this manifesto the SNP is setting out a serious programme for serious times.”

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In an effort “to capture the sense of possibility and hope for a better country and better world”, she will say it has the NHS at its heart.

“If the SNP is re-elected we will use our experience to undertake a full-scale post-pandemic remobilisation of the NHS,” the SNP leader will promise.

“Today I am pledging a transformational increase in frontline health spending.

“Investment in the NHS is already at record levels. But the pandemic has placed exceptional pressures on our NHS – and that requires an exceptional response.

“Over the next Parliament, we will increase frontline NHS spending by at least 20%. This will deliver an additional £2.5 billion for frontline health services – and is almost double what an inflation-only increase would amount to.”

The SNP is also promising to set up fast-track cancer diagnostic centres in every health board area, with Sturgeon also pledging to increase Scottish Government investment in mental health services by “at least 25%”.

Every GP practice in the country will have access to a dedicated mental wellbeing link worker, she will add, saying this will create a network of 1,000 additional staff.

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Sturgeon will go on to say the “same vision” must be shown for social care services as for the NHS, vowing: “In the next term of parliament, we will establish a National Care Service.

“The National Care Service will improve standards, ensure enhanced pay and conditions for workers and provide better support for unpaid carers.

“It will allow us to introduce a national wage for care staff – to whom we owe so much – and enter into national pay bargaining for the sector for the first time.”

Sturgeon will state: “This will be a major change which requires major investment. So we will increase public investment in social care by 25% over the course of the parliament, delivering over £800 million of additional support for social care.

“Because we believe that social care, just like health care, should be provided on a truly universal basis, free at the point of use, we will also remove charges for non-residential care.”

Scottish Conservative leader Douglas Ross warned the SNP would “break” its headline promises by focusing instead on a second independence referendum.

In a TV debate, Ms Sturgeon conceded her administration had taken its “eye off the ball” in terms of the the drugs death crisis, with Mr Ross claiming this mean she “let thousands of people needlessly die because of her government’s inaction”.

He warned: “Now she’s preparing to take her eye off the ball again and demand another divisive independence referendum when we’re still recovering from the Covid-19 pandemic.

“The Scottish Conservatives will keep holding the SNP to account when they break headline promises and focus on another referendum, instead of Scotland’s recovery.”

Scottish Labour health spokeswoman Jackie Baillie said: “The promise of new funds for our NHS is to be welcomed and we agree that we need transformational change – but after 14 years of SNP mismanagement we can have no faith in the SNP to deliver it.

“We must remember that as health minister, Nicola Sturgeon’s actions saw a cumulative total of £1bn withheld from the NHS.

“The fact of the matter is that we simply cannot trust the very party that has run down our NHS so badly to oversee its recovery.”


Covid restrictions ease as most of Scotland moves to level two

Indoor household mixing and hospitality rules relaxed for most of mainland Scotland but Glasgow and Moray stay in level three.

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Pubs in level two areas are allowed to sell alcohol indoors.

Coronavirus restrictions in Scotland eased on Monday as most of the country enters level two of the five-tier system.

Only Glasgow and Moray remain in level three due to recent outbreaks of the virus.

For the rest of mainland Scotland, the change to level two means new rules regarding hugging, indoor socialising and hospitality venues.

Scotland will also join the rest of the UK in implementing a ‘traffic light system’ for international travel.

What is changing?

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Pubs in level two areas are allowed to open and sell alcohol indoors with up to six people from three households able to socialise indoors in a private home or garden without physical distancing.

Pubs can open and sell alcohol indoors until 10.30pm in two-hour booked slots. Local licensing laws will apply outdoors.

Meanwhile, cinemas, theatres, concert halls, music venues, comedy clubs, amusement arcades, casinos, snooker halls and bingo halls can open – although soft play centres, funfairs and nightclubs still have to remain closed.

Outdoor and indoor events can also resume with maximum capacities indoors of 100, outdoors seated of 500 and outdoors free-standing of 250.

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Adult contact sport can restart outdoors and non-professional performance arts can resume outdoors.

Universities and colleges will be able return to a more blended model of learning.

Glasgow and Moray

With coronavirus numbers having fallen, and the continued rollout of the vaccination programme, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon had previously indicated the whole of mainland Scotland could move to level two restrictions.

However, following outbreaks in both Glasgow and Moray the decision was taken to keep both areas in level three for at least another week.

People have been asked not to travel in and out of Moray or the city of Glasgow during that time unless their journey is essential.

Those living in the most affected areas of Glasgow, which has overtaken Moray to be the country’s Covid hotspot, are being urged to take a Covid-19 test regardless of whether they have symptoms or not.

Sturgeon said there was evidence to suggest the outbreak in Glasgow was being driven by the Indian B.1.617.2 variant.

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She added she was optimistic that increased testing and vaccination would help to curb the increased spread of the virus, while also stressing that Scotland’s battle against coronavirus “remains good”.

On Moray, the First Minister said: “Case numbers remain more than double the Scottish average and so the judgement of the local incident management team, which has informed this decision, is that it is prudent for Moray to remain at level three for a further week, so that we can be more confident that the situation is firmly under control.”

She added: “It is inevitable that as we continue to navigate our way through this pandemic, we will hit bumps in the road, however, if we exercise suitable caution as we’re seeking to do today, then even though that is difficult, we are much more likely to stay on the right track overall.”

Caution urged

The national clinical director has urged caution with those going in to level two asked to be careful with their new freedoms.

Professor Jason Leitch said: “We have decided, with advice, that on Monday the rest of the country is safe to move to the next stage.

“But we all said the hugging, the increased hospitality, that should all be done very cautiously.

“So don’t go crazy but we think it can be kept under control.”

Traffic light system

Sturgeon has confirmed that a traffic light system for international travel will also become active, meaning countries will be sorted into lists depending on their current coronavirus numbers.

The likely green list destinations, territories in which visits to would have no quarantine requirement, are Portugal, Australia, New Zealand, Israel, Singapore, Brunei, Iceland, Gibraltar, the Falkland Islands, the Faroe Islands, South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands and St Helena, Tristan de Cunha, Ascension Island.

Although there will be no quarantine requirement for these countries, Sturgeon has warned that these would be the “exception and not the rule” with most destinations instead appearing on the amber list.

The three counties currently on the red list, visits to which require managed isolation in a quarantine hotel for ten days at the cost of £1750 for a solo traveller, are Turkey, Nepal and the Maldives.

The First Minister said that most countries will be on the amber list, visits to which will require self-isolation at home with two PCR tests taken during that period.

The islands

Many of Scotland’s islands will move to level one due to vaccination coverage and low case numbers.

Swinney: Rangers fans’ conduct ‘absolutely reprehensible’

Deputy first minister says supporters behaved in a 'loutish and thuggish fashion' in Glasgow's George Square on Saturday.

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Rangers fans gathered in George Square on Saturday.

John Swinney has argued “every exhortation was given by Police Scotland, the Scottish Government and Rangers Football Club” as he condemned the action of fans as “absolutely reprehensible”.

Scotland’s deputy first minister spoke out against the scenes on Saturday which led to five police officers being injured and 28 arrests – with officers saying many more will follow.

Thousands of fans defied Covid-19 warnings against large gatherings and massed in George Square to celebrate Rangers winning their first Scottish Premiership championship since 2011.

Images 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.

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Swinney told the BBC’s Good Morning Scotland: “Every exhortation was given by Police Scotland, the Scottish Government and Rangers Football Club for fans not to assemble.

“But unfortunately 15,000 people did so and they started off behaving peacefully and then they descended into thuggish behaviour in George Square.

“I’m limited as to what I can say this morning because there’s an ongoing police investigation but the conduct on Saturday was absolutely reprehensible.

“There was absolutely no need for them to gather, absolutely no need whatsoever, and the warnings were given very clearly… and then some of them went on to behave in a loutish and thuggish fashion in George Square – devastating property, circulating and expressing vile anti-Catholic bigotry in the centre of the city of Glasgow.

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“Police officers were assaulted on Saturday, which is completely unacceptable and obviously that will be a matter which is pursued vigorously by Police Scotland and so it should be and there’ll be various actions taken to address the behaviour and the conduct of the fans on Saturday.”

Calum Steele, general secretary of the Scottish Police Federation (SPF), tweeted images on Sunday night of some of the injuries sustained by officers, including broken bones and lost teeth.

He described the scenes as “horrific”, also telling the BBC programme: “There are almost no polite words left to describe how bad the events (were) in Glasgow at the weekend – and indeed the wider west of Scotland.

“Many of the officers who are quite long in the tooth have probably quite rightly described it as some of the worst violence that they’ve experienced in over 20 years of police service.

“People being critical of the police, that’s nothing new, and those that don’t have an appreciation and understanding as to what’s involved in the policing tactics are rarely shy in holding back their points of view.

“The notion that the very limited resources of the police service would go into a crowd of that size to enforce the dispersal without any consideration of the inevitable consequences of such action I think shows just how narrow the thinking of those that are critical of the police in those circumstances are.

“There is no way that a police service of almost any size could have stopped that number of people moving and gathering – equally there may well be legitimate questions to ask about whether the gathering should have been broken up at an earlier stage, or notices to disperse the crowd should be given at an earlier stage.

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“I don’t believe that the club is responsible for what took place yesterday, I absolutely believe the club has got a fundamental role to play in trying to make sure that the behaviour of fans – indeed football authorities in general have a role to play in making sure that these kinds of disgraceful behaviours, laying down what’s acceptable, what’s not acceptable is addressed in the future.”

Police Scotland assistant chief constable Gary Richie also said: “If we’re going to actually take preventative action it’s as going to actually cause a huge amount of disruption to the city, because we will need to close off roads and access points and you need to think about where the crowd, who would still be intent on coming, where they would be displaced to.

“I’m absolutely sure that the policing response that we put in place for the events in Saturday was absolutely the right one.

“Every single one of those 15,000 that chose to gather took a selfish decision against the rules, because the rules are there to protect them and they are to protect others.

“At what stage would there be dispersal that wouldn’t have caused massive disruption to the people of Glasgow and the city if we tried to prevent it?

“Our response is dictated by the behaviour of the crowd. Our officers have received medical attention and are fine, thank you for asking.

“I think it’s shocking that they’ve gone to the work and they’ve come back home injured, one of them quite seriously injured.

“I don’t think the supporters who engaged in that type of behaviour are the types of supporters Rangers would want associated with them… I think they’ve besmirched the great name of the club and I don’t think they should be anywhere near a football ground after this.”

Glasgow Street Aid, a charity that provides first aid and welfare services in Glasgow, posted photographs of exhausted volunteers in the aftermath of the George Square scenes.

Firefighters remain at scene after houses engulfed in flames

Scottish Fire and Rescue Service deployed six appliances to fire on Findhorn Crescent in Inverkip on Sunday night.

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Firefighters remain at the scene of a blaze that engulfed two houses in Inverclyde on Sunday night.

Six fire engines were sent to Findhorn Crescent, Inverkip, and one appliance remained in the area on Monday morning.

Pictures from the scene showed the houses with their roofs completely burnt out.

There is not believed to have been any injuries.

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Inverkip fire
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A statement from Scottish Fire and Rescue Service said: “Six fire engines were sent to the Findhorn Crescent fire last night which affected two properties. One appliance remains on the scene this morning.”

Neighbours have been handing out blankets and drinks to people who were unable to get into their homes and the local Inverkip Hub has opened up for anyone affected.

It is not yet known how the fire started.

Airport birthday treat for five-year-old plane fanatic

Loganair throw special party for George Clark to thank him for being one of the airline's top customers.

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George Clark got to sit in the cockpit of a Loganair plane.

George Clark has taken more than 50 flights with Loganair before he turned five, so the regional airline decided to throw its biggest fan a special party for his birthday on Sunday.

George lives on the Isle of Benbecula in Uist with his mother, while his father lives in Stornoway on the nearby Isle of Lewis, so he has taken the 35-minute flight between the two locations dozens of times.

On top of this, he insists on his mother Sharon taking him to the airport twice a day – once on the way to nursery and then again on the way home.

Unsurprisingly, he wants to be a pilot when he grows up so he can fly his mother all over the world, and he enjoys playing with his collection of more than 100 toy planes.

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Loganair decided to invite the frequent flyer onboard one of the aircraft for a special visit on his birthday, singing “happy birthday” and letting him inspect the plane.

He even got to sit in the cockpit and meet captain Ben Chesworth.

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George Clark got to sit in the cockpit of a Loganair plane.

George is not the only one clocking up miles with the airline, his father Sean received a hamper from Loganair last year to thank him as one of its top 10 customers.

As regular fliers, the family have come to know the airport staff well.

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Throughout the pandemic, George has not been able to fly as much as he would like so he was over the moon to be invited along for a special birthday treat on Benbecula.

Sharon Clark said: “George absolutely loves everything about planes – he has done since he was just two years old.

“He loves watching them take off and travel down the runway so we spend a lot of time at the airport.

“The staff have been incredibly accommodating to George and his travel arrangements and I am extremely grateful for their help and kindness towards him – it makes his travelling all the more special for him.

“I can’t really pinpoint a time when his obsession with planes started, however, he is a regular flier and every single flight is exciting for him.

“To get the chance to sit in the cockpit and meet the Captain is a dream come true for George. His fifth birthday is one that he definitely won’t forget.”

Colin MacLeod, local station manager for Loganair at Benbecula Airport, said: “It was a pleasure to organise a special treat for George and get him back onboard the planes he loves so much.

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“As one of our youngest regular fliers, George’s face still lights up for every journey and we are delighted to be able to keep him connected with his family across our services.”

Council ‘close to solution’ on unclaimed taxi driver funds

Glasgow City Council leader says local authority is 'very close' to finding a solution to distribute additional support.

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Taxi drivers have received grant support during the pandemic.

The leader of Glasgow City Council says she is close to finding a solution that will allow her to distribute unclaimed funding to taxi drivers.

Councillor Susan Aitken has confirmed the taxi and private hire vehicle fund has seen 4660 drivers in the city receive almost £7m of grant support.

The local authority is now working with the Scottish Government to shape additional support for operators to ensure they receive a contribution to acknowledge the hardship of the pandemic.

During a full council meeting Labour councillor Jill Brown asked the the Leader of the Council what engagement she had had with representatives of the taxi trade in the last two months.

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Aitken said: “The pre-election period has made this a very challenging issue but I, the city treasurer and officers have given a lot of time to in recent weeks.

“I do believe we are very close to finding a solution which will allow us to distribute additional support to taxi drivers in Glasgow.”

Councillor Brown asked the leader to join her in thanking taxi and private hire car drivers for providing a lifeline to many people during the pandemic by tirelessly transporting essential workers around the city day and night.

She also highlighted concerns from her constituents about a lack of communication regarding grant funding which had created additional uncertainty.

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Brown continued: “Does the Leader agree with me that taxi driver and their families have been short-changed by the administration during this period, with payments that have been widely recognised as not enough while funding allocation has been underspent with a significant amount of taxi drivers not receiving a payment in that period due to lack of engagement?”

Councillor Aitken refuted this and said that the issue had taken up a considerable amount of time.

She went on: “We want to thank taxi drivers for the role they have played, and we do want to make sure the trade gets the support that it needs.

“The underspend that we have is because we did not receive as many applications as anticipated and that’s why the full amount was given to us.

“We have been trying to secure the permission and ability to distribute that underspend to drivers which has been very challenging.

“The clear guidance states that any underspend had to be returned to the Scottish Government and also because of the pre-election period of which there are strict rules.

“I believe we are close to a solution which would allow us to distribute the underspend and give taxi drivers additional payments.”

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Story by local democracy reporter Catherine Hunter

Charity resumes face-to-face services for deaf and blind people

North East Sensory Services has reopened its resource centres in Aberdeen, Dundee and Moray for appointments only.

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Charity: NESS has reopened its resource centres in Aberdeen, Dundee and Moray for appointments only.

A charity has started to resume some of its face-to-face services for deaf and blind people as lockdown restrictions ease.

North East Sensory Services (NESS) has reopened its resource centres in Aberdeen, Dundee and Moray for appointments only, allowing users to see social and rehab workers and try out equipment.

Changes have been made to the centres, with screens between individuals, hand sanitiser available, and strict guidelines for appointments and the number of people in the buildings.

While drop-ins are not yet possible, the partial reopening will help those who have difficulty with remote communication.

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Direct contact is also needed for rehab training to give people the skills and confidence they need to get out and about independently.

Social and rehab workers will now also be able to perform home visits if needed, with full personal protective equipment (PPE).

To date, NESS has been supporting people remotely on the phone or via video call and dropping off equipment on doorsteps.

The charity’s Hear2Help service continues remotely, with staff and volunteers coordinating doorstep delivery and collection of hearing aids in Aberdeen and Moray.

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Social support for older people who are socially isolated remains a remote provision, with regular phone calls to nearly 100 people in Aberdeen and Moray, while telephone befriending services continue in Angus.

Transcription services must also continue remotely, however the Young People’s Sensory Service (YPSS) is operating with face-to-face outdoor activities in Elgin and Aberdeen.

Graham Findlay, chief executive of NESS, said:It has been a particularly challenging year for people with sensory loss.

“Our lifeline services have adapted, ensuring we can still support thousands of people across the north-east during the lockdowns.

“We’re delighted that some in-person services have now started to resume.

“Face-to-face communication helps give people the skills and confidence to get out and about independently, and it helps people who are deaf because remote, screen-based communication with limited hearing can be difficult for many. 

“Many of our services continue to be delivered remotely, but we look forward to a full resumption as restrictions are eased further.”

For more information about NESS, click here.


Firm wins major contract to supply CCTV for Type 31 frigates

Imenco UK, which has offices in Aberdeen and Wick in the Highlands, has been chosen to provide tech for the warships.

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Imenco UK: The firm will provide CCTV systems for the warships.

An award-winning supplier of marine and naval visual surveillance systems has won a major contract to supply tech for the Royal Navy’s under-construction Type 31 frigates.

Imenco UK, which has offices in Aberdeen and Wick in the Highlands, has been chosen by Babcock International Group to provide CCTV systems for the warships.

The contract covers five general purpose frigates, which are currently being built at Babcock’s facilities in Rosyth, Fife.

David Fleming, marine and naval projects group manager at Imenco, said: “We are delighted to be able to leverage our expertise from similar CCTV systems in-service with international navies and apply it to the new Type 31 frigates.

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“The system offers reliable, comprehensive surveillance and security around the ship whilst also integrating high-quality video streams to other key ship systems.”

Imenco specialises in visual surveillance systems for the harshest environments and is a world leader in the provision of both topside and subsea CCTV systems for both naval surface ships and submarines.

Mr Fleming added: “This is a major contract win for Imenco in the UK and we’re delighted to be able to foster our relationship as a key supplier to Babcock International and the Royal Navy.”

The Type 31 frigates are part of the National Shipbuilding Strategy, which is intended to transform naval shipbuilding in the UK.

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The frigate, based on Babcock’s Arrowhead 140 baseline design, offers a modern, global platform that can be constructed efficiently and at a considerably lower cost than has previously been achievable, while offering a highly-capable warship.

Babcock’s Arrowhead 140 platform has a unique modular design, which is configurable to meet the needs of both the Royal Navy and navies around the world. For example, the new vessels feature an easily adaptable open architecture combat system, the option of different bridge wing modules and flexible mission bays.

For more information on Imenco, click here.


Scottish business activity ‘continues to recover in April’

New financial report finds businesses are taking on more staff for the first time since January 2020

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Report says pace of business growth in Scotland continued to recover in April.

Scottish business activity continued to recover in April, with the pace of growth picking up from March, according to a financial report.

The latest Royal Bank of Scotland purchasing managers’ index (PMI) rose from 54.3 March to 55.4 in April, the quickest rate of growth in eight months.

Respondents said they were taking on more staff for the first time since January 2020, though the increase was only marginal.

Anecdotal evidence collected for the PMI said business confidence was down to improved sales, easing lockdown restrictions and hopes of strong growth alongside an economic recovery.

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RBS’s Malcolm Buchanan said: “April data highlighted further gains for the Scottish private sector as it continues on its recovery path.

“Business activity rose for the second month in a row, with the latest upturn the strongest for eight months.

“Key to growth was a renewed rise in new work and one that was the strongest for nearly three years.

“Further positive news came from employment, with companies adding to staff numbers for the first time in over a year – a clear sign that firms are confident of a recovery. Indeed, the year-ahead outlook for activity remained historically elevated.

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“Overall the data are very encouraging and suggest the private sector has turned a corner towards recovery.

“With lockdown measures set to ease further, we should see a sustained rebound in the months to come.”

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FM slams Rangers fans as Glasgow could face longer lockdown

Professor Jason Leitch said the city may be under Level 3 restrictions for more than another week.

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Nicola Sturgeon has said she is “utterly disgusted” by Rangers fans who “rampaged through the city” as Glasgow’s Level 3 restrictions could continue for more than an extra week.

The First Minister said that the violence, vandalism and anti-Catholic prejudice on display was “selfish beyond belief” amid rising coronavirus cases in the city.

Her statement came as Professor Jason Leitch, Scotland’s national clinical director, said that restrictions may continue in Glasgow beyond May 24.

An estimated 15,000 Rangers fans amassed outside Ibrox and then in George Square on Saturday. Five police officers were injured after supporters began throwing missiles at them. Police Scotland said that 28 people had been arrested so far for a variety of offences and that more arrests will follow.

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Sturgeon said she had been inundated with messages about the “disgraceful scenes” in Glasgow.

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GLASGOW, SCOTLAND – MAY 15: Rangers fans celebrate lifting the Scottish Premiership title at George Square, on May 15, 2021, in Glasgow, Scotland. (Photo by Euan Cherry / SNS Group)

She said: “Police still have a job to do, which restrains my comments to some extent – but to say I’m utterly disgusted by the Rangers fans who rampaged through the city would be an understatement.

“I’m also angry on behalf of every law abiding citizen. In normal times, the violence and vandalism, and the vile anti-Catholic prejudice that was on display, would have been utterly unacceptable. But mid-pandemic, in a city with cases on the rise, it was also selfish beyond belief.

“People across the country still living under the most difficult restrictions – not able to see family or attend weddings and funerals – are rightly furious at the irresponsible actions of a thuggish minority who seem to care little for the risks they pose to other people.”

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She said that there is a need for the government and police to reflect on what more can be done to prevent and tackle such scenes but said that Police Scotland officers had her admiration for the job they did in “difficult and dangerous circumstances”.

Five police officers were injured and more than 20 people arrested after massive crowds of Rangers fans had to be dispersed from George Square in Glasgow. Police Scotland’s assistant chief constable Gary Ritchie said: “Police Scotland, our partners and Rangers Football Club had all asked fans not to gather and to take personal responsibility for their actions.

“But 15,000 people chose to ignore that and took the selfish decision to gather at Ibrox and then George Square.”

General Secretary of the Scottish Police Federation Callum Steele hit out at the incident on Twitter with pictures showing the extent of two officers’ injuries.

He said: “No matter how lucky we are to have such courageous officers protecting our communities, none of them deserve this.”

The city remains Scotland’s virus hotspot with the latest seven-day rate of positive cases per 100,000 people at 89.4.

The rest of the country will have coronavirus restrictions eased on Monday, May 17, but Glasgow and Moray will remain under Level 3.

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Pollokshield and Battlefield remain the most affected neighbourhoods with residents urged to get tested and take up the opportunity to be vaccinated when offered.

Having taken a test herself, Sturgeon said: “If you live in – or have recently spent time in – the Southside of Glasgow, please help get this outbreak under control by taking a test.”

Speaking on BBC Scotland’s The Sunday Show, Prof Leitch said “it may well be” Glasgow remains under Level 3 beyond the initial one week delay to easing restrictions.

He told the programme: “We’ll give the best advice we can on this – we’ve met all weekend, we’ll meet next week.

“Glasgow are doing an enormous amount of work. The leaders of the public health response in Glasgow are testing everywhere.

“If you haven’t had a test and you’re in Glasgow, you should do it.”

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