JASON Leitch said a Tory MSP was acting “like a child” and branded a Labour politician a “smart arse” in texts to Humza Yousaf, Covid Inquiry evidence has shown.

The Scottish Government’s national clinical director texted the then-health secretary after a briefing with MSPs in June 2021, shortly after the Holyrood election that year.

Most were “reasonable and predictable”, Leitch said, but he singled out Conservative MSP Edward Mountain and Labour’s Daniel Johnson for criticism.

Leitch said: “Just done MSP briefing. They were mostly fine. Very reasonable and predictable.

“Edward Mountain rude and Daniel Johnson a smart arse. Otherwise fine.”

The National: Humza Yousaf

Yousaf (above) replied: “Doesn't surprise me about Mountain or DJ frankly.

“[Labour MSP] Paul Sweeney will also be one to watch, he will tell you how to do your job.”

Yousaf also discussed a “wrap on the knuckles” from the statistics authority after he had claimed that 10 children were in hospital in Scotland because of Covid-19.

READ MORE: Jason Leitch responds to 'pre-bed ritual' WhatsApp row at UK Covid Inquiry

Leitch said he had received the same letter before going on to speak about Sweeney.

He said: “He's had a go on Twitter previously. [Scottish Labour leader] Anas [Sarwar] says he's struggling with him and new girl Mercedes [Villalba].”

He added: “Mountain was head shaking and harrumphing ... like a child.”

Yousaf texted to ask what Mountain and Johnson’s “main grumps” were, to which Leitch replied that the Labour MSP had asked about nurseries and Mountain had argued for Covid rules to be eased as there was “only one person in Raigmore [Hospital, in Inverness]”.

Yousaf also said that Sweeney would “be the new Neil Findlay”, in reference to the Labour backbencher who had stood down at the May 2021 Scottish Parliament election.

Findlay responded to the exchanges, published by the UK Covid-19 Inquiry on Thursday night, on Twitter/X.

He said: “These new messages show the utter contempt that [Yousaf] and [Leitch] have for MSPs who were unwilling to unquestioningly accept some of the bullshit we were being fed – one of the most important jobs of opposition politicians is to hold the [Government] to account.”

The Scottish Government was approached for comment.