BBC host shuts down SNP MP as Sturgeon accused of undermining Boris with latest move

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All pubs and restaurants across central Scotland are to be closed under new measures aimed at tackling a surge in coronavirus cases. COVID-19 restrictions are to be tightened further in parts of England early next week with a possible closure of bars and restaurants. BBC Politics Live host Adam Fleming clashed with SNP MP Dr Philippa Whitford over First Minister Nicola Sturgeon’s possible motivation.

Mr Fleming said: “It’s basic politics isn’t it?

“Nicola Sturgeon has an incentive politically to do something different from Boris Johnson because her whole life is being different from Boris Johnson.”

Dr Whitford hit back: “I think that’s nonsense.

“If you watch the press briefings that she’s done, she has stayed away from criticising other governments.”

She continued: “She has made the point that there isn’t a handbook on this and governments have had to learn starting in February what works and what doesn’t work.

“Because it is her that is in charge of our Government which is in charge of services, it’s her that has to make that decision.

“She’s responsible for the health of people in Scotland.

“I don’t envy her, it’s been a hell of a shift that she’s been putting in.”

The SNP MP added: “But the idea that this is all about scoring points is wrong.

“People have made different decisions in the 16 länder in Germany, in the different states in Australia and nobody comments about that.

“But somehow here, between Scotland and England, oh that’s all about independence.”

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Dr Whitford told the BBC: “You don’t say that about Wales or Northern Ireland, and yet the three devolved nations are often closer to each other in their approach and regulations.

“It’s actually often England that is the one that’s different.”

Scotland has reported 1,054 new cases of coronavirus in the last 24 hours.

Ms Sturgen announced that from Friday, all pubs and restaurants across central Scotland will close.

In the rest of Scotland, hospitality venues will close at 6pm and alcohol can only be served outdoors.

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