Tuesday, 21 Sep 2021

‘She’d love to have us back in lockdown’ Nicola Sturgeon branded ‘autocratic leader’

Scotland: Nicola Sturgeon wants another lockdown says Leo Kearse

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Nicola Sturgeon has admitted having “butterflies in my stomach” over lifting most of the legal coronavirus restrictions in Scotland. The First Minister confirmed last week that the country would move beyond Level 0, which has brought an end to the legal requirements for physical distancing – except in healthcare settings – and gatherings. Comedian Leo Kearse has branded the SNP leader “autocratic”.

Speaking to GB News, Mr Kearse said: “I’m sure Nicola Sturgeon as an autocratic leader would love to have us back under lockdown.

“Her big thing under coronavirus was doing everything Boris was doing but a little bit nastier and a little bit harder which is very much Keir Starmer’s policy as well.

“Scotland absolutely loved lockdown. People loved having all their freedoms taken away under an illusion of safety.”

It comes after Ms Sturgeon told Good Morning Britain: “I think there’s always going to be nervousness when we lift restrictions after such a long period.

“I have to be honest that there’s some butterflies in my stomach about it today, but I think it’s the right moment to do this.

“We see daily fluctuations in our case numbers but the trend is downwards, and of course the vaccine is giving significant protection.

“So this is the right moment to remove legal restrictions to try to get that greater normality back in our lives, but with a big caveat that the virus hasn’t gone away, the pandemic is not over.

“I think it’s premature to declare victory over it or freedom from it, we’ve got to continue to be careful, which is why in Scotland we’re keeping some sensible precautions in place – for example, face coverings in many indoor settings – so it’s a moment to feel optimistic.

Scotland: Nicola Sturgeon 'cannot guarantee' no more lockdowns

“This has been a long, hard year-and-a-half, but we’ve got to continue to exercise care and caution – this virus is unpredictable, and I think it’s true that we under-estimate it at our peril.”

Ms Sturgeon also argued that the more gradual easing of restrictions has helped the cautious approach to Covid-19 north of the border as children return to school in the coming weeks.

Secondary school pupils are among those who will have to continue wearing face coverings in the classroom for at least the first six weeks of term.

The First Minister added: “We will be monitoring that carefully and we will not keep that requirement in place for any longer than necessary.

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“People sometimes ask me just now ‘Why do young people still need to wear face coverings in schools when there are some other settings where that’s not required?’ – of course, young people for now remain unvaccinated, although we’re starting to vaccinate 16 and 17-year-olds.

“And, unlike nightclubs, which are places that people have a choice over whether or not they go to, that’s not the case with schools.

“There’s something quite unique about the school setting… so keeping some basic precautions there for a bit longer as schools return strikes me as sensible – it’s certainly the clinical advice I’ve got.”

However, when speaking on BBC Breakfast on Monday morning, Ms Sturgeon was challenged over whether she could guarantee no further lockdowns.

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