SCOTTISH Labour’s deputy leader has been urged to apologise for sharing a conspiracy theory about the coronavirus lockdown in Aberdeen.

The city faces tighter restrictions after the number of cases in a cluster linked to more than 20 bars and restaurants grew to 54.

People living in Aberdeen have been told not to go inside others’ homes or travel more than five miles for recreational purposes, while people living outside of the city have been advised not to travel there. Indoor and outdoor hospitality venues have been closed.

The First Minister announced the new measures yesterday afternoon at the Scottish Government briefing.

READ MORE: Anger as Scottish Labour spreads conspiracy theory about Aberdeen lockdown

The news came amid a row over how the SQA calculated pupils’ exam results. With exams called off during lockdown, grades were based on teachers’ judgements which were then vetted by the body.

The SQA moderated results in part by looking at each school’s history of results. An equality impact assessment, released by the body, found students in Scotland’s most deprived areas had their Higher pass rate reduced by 15.2% while students in the least deprived areas saw their rate decrease by 6.9%.

Last night Jackie Baillie suggested the Aberdeen lockdown decision was not made due to public health reasons, but to stop the First Minister from being asked difficult questions about the SQA row.

The MSP retweeted a post from Scottish Labour member and solicitor Ian Smart which read: “So, Sturgeon’s staff meeting this morning. ‘I’m sorry FM but you’re going to get eaten even by this press on the SQA. Not to mention your false figures on deaths.’ Nicola: ‘Any ideas?’ Intern (shyly): ‘How about we close down Aberdeen?’ Nicola: ‘Give this person a full time job!’”

She added: “A classic diversionary tactic – wow.”

The post sparked anger online, generating hundreds of replies from SNP figures and Labour supporters opposed to Baillie’s claim.

Now, Aberdeen North MP Kirsty Blackman has urged Baillie to apologise for her post.

She told The National: "It's absolutely shocking that the deputy leader of Scottish Labour has resorted to endorsing conspiracy theories during a public health pandemic.

“Jackie Baillie should be ashamed of her attempt to trivialise this crisis by making party political jibes.

"Jackie Baillie should apologise to the people of Aberdeen, and think very carefully before she tweets anything like this again."

The restrictions in Aberdeen are the first localised lockdown measures to be implemented in Scotland.

As of yesterday, nearly 200 contacts had been traced in relation to the cluster.