FORMER first minister Nicola Sturgeon has hit back at Matt Hancock’s Covid inquiry jibe where he accused her of “spin”.

The former UK health secretary told the UK Covid Inquiry on Friday morning that Sturgeon had “confused” the public during the Covid pandemic.

Hancock also claimed Sturgeon would announce decisions sooner than had been agreed to.

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The former SNP leader, who was lauded and criticised for her communication skills with her daily briefings during the pandemic, has now hit back at Hancock’s claims during his second day of giving evidence to the probe.

A spokesperson for Sturgeon said: “There is not a scrap of evidence for Matt Hancock’s claims.

“He should be taking responsibility for his own decisions – as Nicola will do when she gives evidence to the Inquiry early next year – rather than seeking to blame others.

“Nicola communicated openly and frankly with the people of Scotland on a daily basis.

The National: Nicola Sturgeon delivering a daily Covid briefing during the pandemic

“It was her duty in the grave situation we faced to take and communicate clearly the decisions necessary to protect the country as far as possible. She was accountable to the Scottish people in discharging that duty, not to Matt Hancock.”

Earlier, Hancock was asked about text messages where he said he was concerned about “the Scots” making early announcements.

Claire Mitchell KC, acting on behalf of the Scottish covid bereaved, probed Hancock on why it was an issue that the Scottish people were told first.

“There were a number of moments when the first minister of Scotland would communicate in a way that was unhelpful and confusing to the public and sometimes would leave a meeting and begin communication of a decision for instance sooner than agreed,” he said.

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“In contrast to my warmth towards my health counterparts, we then found it much more difficult when decisions went up to first minister level, particularly with Nicola Sturgeon because we would find some kind of spin was put on what was essentially, substantively the same decision.”

Hancock also told the Inquiry that relations with Scotland’s then health secretary Jeane Freeman were better and had “no recollection” of communication plans with her or her officials being “breached”.