A TORY MSP has accused Nicola Sturgeon of “misrepresenting” his position on Covid-19 restrictions.

Dr Sandesh Gulhane, the Scottish Tories’ health spokesman and a GP, said the First Minister had described him as being against restrictions while she responded to a question he had asked.

Gulhane said he supports proportionate restrictions, and his Tory colleagues said the First Minister should apologise.

However, Sturgeon said she did not intend to misrepresent anyone, saying Dr Gulhane’s question had led to the impression he was against the current measures.

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It comes as the First Minister announced changes to the rules for both self isolation and Covid-19 testing.

During an exchange at the virtual meeting of the Scottish Parliament on Wednesday, Gulhane asked Sturgeon about the data behind the Government’s decisions.

He said: “We all appreciate that Covid necessitates some restrictions. But what information does the Scottish Government base its decisions upon?

“We simply don’t know.”

The National:

The row erupted after the First Minister's Covid-19 update

In response, Sturgeon said the Scottish Government published “acres” of data and evidence, adding: “The data and evidence doesn’t make the decisions, they inform the decisions.

“I would hazard a guess that the member, who I know is a clinician himself, is in a minority of clinicians right now who don’t think – or who think no protective measures are required.

“Indeed, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland and many countries across Europe and the world are all in a similar place, in some proportionate, but necessary protections, to try to stem even to some extent the rise in cases.”

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Gulhane later raised a point of order with the Presiding Officer, saying the First Minister had “completely misrepresented” his position and he had never been against all restrictions.

Other Tory MSPs also raised the issue later in the virtual meeting of Holyrood, with Sue Webber asking if the First Minister would apologise.

Sturgeon said: “No, I don’t think I’ve got any need to do that.

“I didn’t intend to misrepresent anybody, I don’t intend to misrepresent anybody.”

The National:

Gulhane is the Scottish Tories health spokesperson in Holyrood

The First Minister said she understood from Gulhane’s question that he did not agree with the protective measures, adding: “If that’s not what he intended to say then I accept that and his position is as he’s put on the record.”

When the issue was raised again later, Sturgeon said: “My impression from that question was that he was not in support of the measures that were in place.

“Now that’s legitimate and I answered the question on that basis.

“If that was not the impression he was intending to give I accept that and I would hope he would accept in turn that I was not seeking to misrepresent him.

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“I think we’ve all got more important things frankly to deal with right now because of the really significant challenge the country is facing.”

The row came as 16,103 new coronavirus infections were recorded in Scotland in the past 24 hours, with Sturgeon warning the sheer volume of cases means Covid-19 “still has the potential to overwhelm us”.