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Scottish Tory MSPs delete evidence showing they flouted social distancing measures

A TORY MSP whose hiking partner called for the sacking of Scotland’s chief medical officer for breaching coronavirus travel restrictions has deleted evidence showing that the pair had also flouted social-distancing measures.

On March 21, Liz Smith posted a photo of her Highlands hike with fellow Tory MSP Murdo Fraser.

The day before, PM Boris Johnson said in a speech that people should stay at home and that public venueLis, pubs, and restaurants should close. And on March 16, the Scottish government advised people not socialise and avoid unnecessary travel.

A screenshot obtained by the Star shows Ms Smith’s deleted tweet, which reads: “Thanks to @murdo_fraser and Sam McMillan for good day out on Ben Vorlich. Stay safe message to all those venturing out. Still very wintry conditions at high level.”

Mr Fraser — in a retweet of Ms Smith’s post that has also been deleted — wrote: “Taking to the hills in coming days? A public safety message from Liz Smith and me.”

It emerged that the posts were deleted after chief medical officer Dr Catherine Calderwood was forced to resign for visiting her second home in Fife twice during the lockdown.

Mr Fraser called for Ms Calderwood to be sacked, despite having flouting the rules himself.

On Sunday, he wrote: “At what point in the last 2 weeks did no-one in the Calderwood household ask: Should we be doing this? Or did they think the messages were for other people?”

Police Scotland Chief Constable Iain Livingstone said that officers had visited Ms Calderwood and issued a warning about her conduct.

Ms Calderwood said she was “deeply sorry” for her visits to her second home.

She was initially backed by the Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon to remain in the role but, after further talks between the pair, Ms Calderwood said on Sunday night that she had resigned “with a heavy heart.”

Ms Sturgeon told the BBC Breakfast show today that she had decided Ms Calderwood should quit because guidance to stay at home was at risk of being “drowned out or undermined.”

Ms Calderwood will now work with her team “over the next few days to ensure a smooth transition” to her successor, deputy medical officer Dr Gregor Smith.

Ms Sturgeon confirmed that Ms Calderwood would withdraw from the daily updates on Covid-19 and would also no longer feature in the Scottish government’s advertising campaign.

 

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