Express & Star

Covid bereaved group hits out at ‘crocodile tears’ after Sturgeon evidence

Members of the Scottish Covid Bereaved group were reacting to Nicola Sturgeon’s evidence.

Last updated
Aamer Anwar and Scottish Covid Bereaved

One of the Scottish Covid Bereaved group said “crocodile tears aren’t washing with me” as they reacted to Nicola Sturgeon giving evidence to the UK inquiry.

During her evidence session on Wednesday, Ms Sturgeon became emotional as she spoke of being “overwhelmed” at times in the early days of the crisis.

She choked back tears as she said a “large part” of her wished she had not been first minister when the pandemic struck.

As Lady Hallett’s inquiry paused for lunch, members of the Scottish Covid Bereaved and their lawyer, Aamer Anwar, spoke to journalists outside the building.

Covid-19 pandemic inquiry
Aamer Anwar said his clients are still unsatisfied on the issue of WhatsApp deletion (Jane Barlow/PA)

He said Ms Sturgeon had delivered a “polished performance” at the inquiry but his clients were “deeply unsatisfied” with the explanations around the deletion of WhatsApps.

Mr Anwar said: “(Ms Sturgeon’s) industrial deletion of WhatsApps, along with those of her inner circle, still begs the question of why.

“Why were they deleted when she knew that there was a public inquiry on its way?”

He said the group is considering calling for a criminal investigation into the actions of the former first minister and others, but they would consider their next steps after Thursday’s evidence session concluded.

Margaret Waterton, who lost her mother and husband to coronavirus, said Ms Sturgeon was a “consummate politician” but the context of the decision-making at the heart of government remains unclear.

Ms Waterton said: “Ms Sturgeon said she had not had a day off for months during the pandemic.

“I would ask Ms Sturgeon to consider walking in our shoes, because we have not had a day off since the deaths of our loved ones.”

Peter McMahon, who lost his wife, Debbie, said both the UK and Scottish governments should “hang their heads in shame”.

Pamela Thomas lost her brother, James Cameron, during the pandemic.

She said too much time was being taken up on the issue of WhatsApp messages and said: “I don’t think they’re capable of actually telling the truth or being transparent.”

She added: “Crocodile tears aren’t washing with me.

“If there is any tools available to my solicitors or the inquiry with regards to any criminal activity that took place, I would like them to use them all.”

Following the completion of Ms Sturgeon’s evidence, Mr Anwar told journalists that the Covid-19 bereaved “did not believe” Ms Sturgeon’s tearful apologies and that they had “seen all this before”.

Sorry, we are not accepting comments on this article.