ALISTER Jack would join Covid meetings between the devolved nations without saying anything at all, leaving questions as to what he was joining them for, Humza Yousaf has said.

The First Minister appeared to question Jack’s contributions to the four nations meetings while giving evidence to the UK Covid Inquiry in Edinburgh.

Jack, who had been scheduled to appear that morning but pulled out and rescheduled for February 1, became the focus of questioning from KC Jamie Dawson.

Dawson asked what role Jack had played, given the “obvious need” for a four-nation cooperation, during questions about restrictions put on travel, both domestic and international.

Yousaf said: “I can only speak for the fact that when we were on these four-nation calls his engagement was very limited.

“There would often be meetings when he wouldn’t say anything at all. Perhaps he was there to observe.

“Of course, I couldn’t speak to the discussions he was involved in with colleagues and UK counterparts behind the scenes.”

Asked if he would have expected Jack to play a more prominent role as Scottish Secretary, Yousaf said: “I was curious at times why he was on the calls if there was no contribution being made, call after call, if that was the case.

"But ultimately there was a devolved responsibility for us in the Scottish Government and there was devolved responsibility to other governments.

“With travel it was going to be more difficult for those other nations outside of England, because whatever decisions were made by the UK Government for England were largely going to impact decisions we made in Scotland, particularly around international travel.”