Nicola Sturgeon criticised for 'political point scoring' by expert
On Monday, SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon revealed during her daily coronavirus briefing her Government had reminded the Palace of the strict coronavirus restrictions that were in place in Scotland to control the rapid spread of infections. Currently, as part of strict coronavirus rules, travelling across the border is allowed for work purposes, and people caught entering or leaving Scotland without a reasonable excuse could be forced to pay a £60. Royal Family sources insisted the trip was permitted under the work purposes exemption.
MailOnline columnist Sarah Vine believes the “grumpy” reaction from the First Minister towards the royal visit has massively backfired on her, with Kate and Prince William a “reminder of all that is good about the British Crown and the Union, which Sturgeon especially is keen to dissolve”.
Commenting on the trip from the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, the columnist wrote: “It’s been a masterclass in how royalty can remain relevant in the modern age, and their popularity has rightly increased because of it.
“All of which probably explains why Nicola Sturgeon has been so grumpy about their trip to Scotland, and why the Welsh Health Minister, Vaughan Gething, has been equally disobliging.
“Both were chilly on the issue of the royal couple travelling during Covid restrictions, even though — as Kensington Palace has been at pains to point out — they’ve adhered to the letter to all the guidelines. And, of course, William has already had Covid.
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“But let’s be honest, it’s not really about the rules, is it? Kate and William are victims of their own success.
“Because at a time when both devolved administrations have seized the opportunities presented by Covid to foster divisions and further dreams of independence, the Duke and Duchess are a reminder of all that is good about the British Crown and the Union, which Sturgeon especially is keen to dissolve.”
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge arrived in Edinburgh on Monday before the popular royal couple met workers at a Scottish Ambulance Service hub.
The purpose of their 48-hour train tour was to spread festive cheer among workers at the front-end of the coronavirus pandemic.
But First Minister Ms Sturgeon said during her daily coronavirus briefing: “The Scottish Government was advised about the intention to visit.
“We made sure that the Royal Household were aware, as you would expect, of the restrictions in place in Scotland so that could inform both the decision and the planning of the visit.
“Any more questions on that should be directed to the Royal household.”
The SNP insisted Ms Sturgeon never attempted to stop William and Kate vising the country.
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A spokesperson said: “The First Minister welcomes the support shown by the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge for Scotland’s NHS.”
But Ms Sturgeon came under furious attack over her comments, with one Conservative MP telling MailOnline: “This man (Prince William) is the future King of Scotland.
“It is very unsubtle and I think it will backfire on her because there are a lot of loyalist Scots who would be pretty appalled that she would behave in such a rude manner.
“She should know better.”
Tory MSP Murdo Fraser told the Herald newspaper in Scotland: “It seems very petty to be criticising the Royal Family for wanting to thank Scottish NHS staff for their heroic efforts.
“Given that the First Minister had earlier visited NHS staff, presumably after travelling from her home to work too, it seems a bit odd that she didn’t back this trip and make it clear that it was within the rules.
“Rather than thanking William and Kate for the work they are doing to raise morale at these difficult times, the First Minister seems to be afraid of angering the republicans in her party, so she pandered to them instead.”
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