PUBLIC health expert Devi Sridhar has thanked ex-Labour minister Malcolm Chisholm for defending her after his former Scotland Office colleague “attacked” her integrity.

Writing in a Scotsman column today, Brian Wilson criticised the professor’s comments about the UK Government’s approach to the coronavirus pandemic and claimed “it all seems a bit strange”.

The former MP, who served under Tony Blair, wrote: “Professor Devi Sridhar, who advises the Scottish Government, recently posted: ‘If you’re wondering why more public health people didn’t speak out publicly in early March … fear of losing grant income is a key factor.’

“Since then, Professor Sridhar has put herself on the safe side, having set the hare running about quarantining people entering Scotland from England. I hope she looked at social media, though not for too long unless she has a strong stomach, to learn about her new fan-base.”

READ MORE: Former Labour minister 'attacks Devi Sridhar's integrity'

Chisholm tweeted to say he was “appalled” by his former colleague’s comments – writing “thousands would attest” that she’d been the voice of reason and had often encouraged the Scottish Government to go further in its fight against the virus.

Sridhar, the chair of global public health at Edinburgh University, thanked the former health minister.

She replied: “I’m trying to find some humour in entire situation. My friends start laughing when I tell them about these attacks.

“And to re-iterate, I don't get any funding from Scottish govt or any Scottish body. Our team's funding is from Wellcome Trust, NIHR, EU, & DFID. My comment on funding has to do with upsetting senior academic colleagues who sit on review panels with my critical comments in March.”

Earlier this week Sridhar defended herself online when she was branded a “so-called expert” by a Unionist account.

The user told her: “We don’t need so called experts playing politics….why can’t you just give advice and leave the ‘SNP are the light in the darkness’ rubbish to the rest of the cult.”

Sridhar responded to reject the claims. She wrote back: “I currently live and work in Scotland.

“I want Scotland to get rid of the virus, reopen economy and schools and have those shielding feel safe. I contribute my expertise to support this happening.

“I want the same for entire UK. How can anyone living here want Scotland to fail?”