Helensburgh Advertiser

MSP calls for sacking


HELENBURGH’S MSP Jackie Baillie has called for Scotland’s national clinical director to be sacked.

Jason Leitch is facing scrutiny after it emerged that he deleted vital WhatsApp messages during the pandemic.

The UK Covid-19 Inquiry also heard that Leitch gave First Minister Humza Yousaf advice on how to remain exempt from wearing a mask at an event.

Speaking in the Scottish Parliament, Jackie Baillie says she believes Leitch found the pandemic “quite funny.”

She said: “The national clinical director Jason Leitch, who helped to shape the Covid regulation­s, was advising the current First Minister how to avoid the rules.

“Whether messages were deleted nightly or weekly, it is clear that Jason Leitch wiped his messages completely and seemed to find the period during the pandemic all quite funny judging from the messages we have seen.

“If the Scottish Government agrees that his behaviour was inappropri­ate, then it is time Leitch was sacked.”

Responding, Deputy First Minister Shona Robinson said it was unfair to single out one individual.

She said: “Jason Leitch isn’t here to defend himself, as Jackie Baillie knows, and I don’t think it’s fair to focus in this chamber on any individual.

“The inquiry is the place that should be allowed to interrogat­e anyone, whether it’s Jason Leitch, or whether it’s the former First Minister, who of course will give evidence, as well as the current First Minister.

“It should be for the inquiry to be able to interrogat­e the evidence, whether that’s on messages or decision making or anything else.”

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