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SNP MP Allan Dorans asked whether taxpayer money was being used to employ consultants to push anti-Scottish independence “propaganda” and if this would damage the relationship between Scotland and England. Conservative MP Iain Stewart looked perplexed by the question and stated he did not see its relevance regarding the discussion on coronavirus taking place in the House of Commons.
The SNP MP said: “Can the minister confirm or deny that the taxpayers’ money is being used to employ consultants with the sole purpose of producing and promoting negative propaganda to encounter the increasingly successful campaign for Scottish independence?
“Is that to the detriment of co-operation between the nations?”
Mr Swewart replied: “Forgive me, Mr Speaker, but I am not sure what that has to do with a response to coronavirus.”
House of Commons Speaker, Sir Lindsay Hoyle said: “Are you answering it or not, if not move on?”
The Conservative MP responded: “No, I do not think this is relevant to our discussion.”
On Wednesday afternoon, the SNP leader unleashed a furious rant regarding comparisons between Scotland and England’s long-Covid strategy.
Nicola Sturgeon stated that Scotland is taking a different approach that could be perceived as a better more methodical way of tackling the issue.
Ms Sturgeon said: “There is scrutiny on how Scotland is doing on Covid not just in our own terms but in relation to other countries, whether that is across the UK, Europe or the world.
“That is legitimate and appropriate I am not saying it is not but sometimes this temptation to say Scotland is falling behind on something when in actual fact what it might mean is we are trying to do things in a proper way.
“The story I read earlier on the BBC was about long-Covid and the headline of the story is that England is investing £10million in specialist clinics and Scotland is not.
“In actual fact, £10million being spent in England in a Scottish context would be £800,000 or something, you’re not going to get many specialist clinics for £800,000.
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“But in actual fact what Scotland is doing is we have invested £5million in 56 rapid research projects into long-Covid because we need to do the work to understand long-Covid better before we can set up specialist clinics.”
She continued: “We need to understand it before we know what specialisms are required to properly treat.
“So I am briefly referring to that because sometimes the ‘Scotland is not doing what England is doing’ maybe means we are doing it in a different way
“And sometimes, not always, that might mean we are doing it in a better and more methodical way.”
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