NICOLA Sturgeon chastised Douglas Ross for a failed line of questioning at FMQs as the Scottish Tory leader attempted to smear the Scottish Government's handling of Covid restrictions.

During his questions at FMQs, the Scottish Tory leader opened up by quoting a line from SNP MP Pete Wishart who said it was a "fair point" that the Scottish Government had imposed too many Coivd restrictions over the festive period.

Sturgeon hit back, saying that it was not a "fair representation" of the Perth and North Perthshire MP, who shared the interview where the quote came from to Twitter, adding that it was "pretty desperate stuff" from Ross.

While Wishart did say that it was a "fair point", he clarified that the true impacts of restrictions being imposed in different parts of the UK would have to be looked at and assessed before coming to a full conclusion.

In the clip, Wishart goes on to state that official figures show the prevalence of Covid in England was higher there than in Scotland. He then ends the answer by saying it is "right" that the Omicron wave has been approached with "a little bit more caution" in Scotland.

At Holyrood, Sturgeon defended her approach of introducing "balanced protective measures" but did say that there are still "significant uncertainties ahead", indicating that lifting all protective measures - as the UK Government is set to do from next week - is concerning, according to medics and trade unions.

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Ross went on to suggest that it was the "Scottish public's actions, not the SNP government's restrictions that go this right", suggesting that Sturgeon was too "gung-ho" in imposing restrictions.

Sturgeon hit back, saying that the Scottish people complied with "what the Government asked them to do".

She said: "I think Douglas Ross is striking rather a desperate note right now, just as if he is seriously, seriously describing Pete Wishart as showing, as all elected representatives should, some respect for the point someone was making to him, as evidence Pete Wishart agrees with Douglas Ross rather than with this government. Then all that says to people is that Douglas Ross is showing rather more political desperation right now than we even thought he might have been."

She then went onto set out her position on the Covid restrictions, stating: "At the moment this cautious approach is the one that we should be taking. That's my sentiment, those are not actually my words though. Those are the words of Sandesh Gulhane, MSP, on BBC Scotland on the seventh of January.

"So if Douglas Ross is basing his entire line of questioning to me right now on something Pete Wishart said, then what is his response to his own MSP saying the cautious approach is the one we should be taking?"

The First Minister also quoted from Sage scientist Susan Michie who said that Scotland's approach was "very good" from a public health point of view.

She said that the "price of throwing caution to the wind" is not paid by governments, but by the people of the country who can contract serious illness and, in some instances, die as a result of a lack of caution.

"That's a price I don't think I should impose on the people of Scotland," Sturgeon said.

The Scottish Tory leader asked Sturgeon to "respond to the points being made" instead of launching "personal attacks" on him.

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He then suggested that the First Minister wanted to go further with restrictions, but was not able to because of the lack of action from the UK Government.

Sturgeon responded by saying that the coronavirus pandemic is a global issue and we cannot "just magic it away".

She then hit out at Ross for opposing every decision the Scottish Government took in response to the most recent Omicron wave "even at times when they were exactly the same decisions that were being taken by his colleagues in the Westminster government".

She suggested that Ross has taken "an entirely opportunistic approach" to the handling of a global pandemic.

The FM called out the double standards of Ross "misrepresenting" an SNP MP and then taking issue with Sturgeon directly quoting Scottish Tory health spokesperson Gulhane.

Ross suggested that Sturgeon had "gotten the big decisions wrong" and called for her to "admit" that introducing restrictions was the "wrong call".

Sturgeon said that she would let the people of Scotland judge her decision and that if her government left it too late "what on earth does that say about his own colleagues?"

The First Minister listed comparative data between Scotland and England and added: "Can I say gently to Douglas Ross - because I know he's having a tough time politically - but can I say gently that it is inconsistent, entirely inconsistent, there is no consistency in saying, as his health spokesperson [Sandesh Gulhane] did that the 'cautious approach is the one that we should be taking' and then opposing every cautious measure that we choose to take for opportunistic reasons.

"So can I suggest that Douglas Ross just gets his own house in order? Perhaps suggest to more of his colleagues that they obey the rules that are in place when they are in place and leaves this government to get on with steering this country responsibly and in a mature, grown-up fashion through the global pandemic."