SNP Westminster leader Stephen Flynn said language used by Professor Jason Leitch in WhatsApp messages would “make most people uncomfortable”.

Messages from Professor Leitch to then Health Secretary Humza Yousaf have been made public as part of the UK Covid Inquiry. 

In one exchange, Leitch shared his impressions of various MSPs following a coronavirus briefing in June 2021 - including Tory MSP Edward Mountain and Labour MSP Daniel Johnson. 

“Just done MSP briefing," he told Yousaf. "They were mostly fine. Very reasonable and predictable.

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

The Scottish Conservatives condemned the messages as “mudslinging” at opposition politicians and called for Leitch “to do the decent thing and resign or be sacked as national clinical director”.

READ MORE: Tories demand Jason Leitch 'resign or be fired' after WhatsApp row

Speaking to the BBC, Flynn said “some of the language that has been used most people would probably be relatively uncomfortable with” but did not call for an apology.

He also said he was “thoroughly impressed with the job they did”.

“It’s not for me to pass comment or judgment on the role of a civil servant but I’m sure Jason Leitch will be reflecting heavily on it and I’m sure if he wants to say something in relation to it he will to the people of Scotland," he said. 

“I think given some of the language that has been used most people would probably be relatively uncomfortable with it and it’s for Jason to determine himself which course of action he wants to take.”

He added: “I don’t think it would be unreasonable for people to expect someone who has used that terminology to apologise to those involved.

READ MORE: New Scottish independence poll gives Yes four-point lead over Union

“But I also think we need to remind ourselves that the Scottish Government did work on all of our behalf. Nicola Sturgeon was on the TV every day reassuring us throughout the pandemic, trying to do the very best to make sure we were all safe.

“I was thoroughly impressed with the job they did. It certainly helped me and my family cope with what was a very challenging set of circumstances.

“And that was in stark contrast to what we saw emanating from Westminster with comments like let the bodies pile high.”