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Scottish Chief Medical Officer made a 'big mistake' - Sturgeon

Nicola Sturgeon says the former Scottish Chief Medical Officer Catherine Calderwood made a big mistake by breaking coronavirus lockdown rules.

Dr Calderwood stepped down after being found to have broken the lockdown advice she was giving by visiting her second home in Fife.

It came to light that Calderwood had travelled to her holiday home on two separate occasions and she resigned from her post after apologising at a press conference.

Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said Calderwood could not carry on in her position after undermining the public advice the government was giving.

Nicola admitted to Piers and Susanna that Dr Calderwood had made a “big mistake” in not following her own advice about staying at home.

She said: “She was right to apologise. It was clear to us yesterday she couldn’t continue to be the face of the public advice campaign and we said she wouldn’t be, but, to be candid, I did hope that I could continue to call on her advice and expertise because, at this point in dealing with a pandemic, continuity of advice from somebody who’s been immersed in this from the very outset was important.

"My view then, and my view now, is it’s far from ideal to have loss of that at this stage but by last night it became very clear to me that whatever the risk of that was outweighed by the risk of our message being crowded out and undermined.”

She added: ”The reason that ultimately she resigned last night was because I’m not prepared to have that vital public health message undermined and that is not a risk I’m willing to take.

"I didn’t try to defend what she’s done and I’m not trying to defend what she’s done - she didn’t try to defend what she’s done. I thought yesterday [at the press conference] it was important to continue with the continuity of advice she’d given.”

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