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Brexiteer Tom Harwood insisted the First Minister has faced little criticism over Scotland’s care home death rate and for being behind England on testing. He said that while much attention is on Westminster and Prime Minister Boris Johnson, another explanation Ms Sturgeon has “managed to get away with it all so unscathed” is the SNP using its “secret weapon” of “nationalism”.
Writing in the Daily Telegraph, Mr Harwood said: “It should hardly be a surprise that a party with ‘National’ at its heart is willing to push the nationalist button whenever it gets into trouble.
“Anti-English sentiment has repeatedly been whipped up by the SNP throughout the course of the pandemic, most notably when it comes to the border – which has become a political football with threats being repeatedly levied to impose a travel border for the first time in hundreds of years.
“Just yesterday Sturgeon warned that plans to impose restrictions on people coming to Scotland from other parts of the UK would be kept ‘under review’.”
The Brexiteer added that “bashing the English” has allowed Ms Sturgeon to “perform the most remarkable feats of hypocrisy”.
Mr Harwood said: “Repeatedly, Sturgeon has blasted criticism at No 10’s lockdown easing measures, only to then follow up with very similar measures herself a few weeks later.”
He pointed to the First Minister unveiling almost identical air bridges to Mr Johnson despite criticising his plans.
And the Brexiteer highlighted how Ms Sturgeon relaxed the two-metre social distancing rule in Scotland after the Prime Minister eased the restriction.
And the SNP leader refused to adopt Mr Johnson’s “Stay Alert” coronavirus slogan branding it “vague and imprecise” before revealing her very similar “Stay Safe” message.
Mr Harwood warned the Scottish government has one goal of “sowing division to break up the union”.
It comes as the latest easing of Scotland’s lockdown came into force on Friday.
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The First Minister warned the lifting of restrictions must not lead to Scots letting down their guard.
Speaking at the Scottish Government’s daily coronavirus briefing on Friday, she said: “This virus hasn’t gone away so life should still not feel totally normal.
“The lifting of restrictions, important and welcome though it undoubtedly is, mustn’t mean the dropping of our guard, and that’s really important.
“We’ve been in lockdown for more than three months now but being in lockdown ourselves has meant that the virus has also been in lockdown.
“As we come out of lockdown, unfortunately, we let it out again too.
“So we have to work in a sense even harder to make sure that it doesn’t get those opportunities to spread.”
Scotland reported a further seven coronavirus cases on Saturday taking the total to 18,340.
No new deaths were recorded with the toll remaining at 2,490.
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