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Nicola Sturgeon's Alleged Referral to Boris Johnson as a 'Clown' Discussed in Inquiry

Nicola Sturgeon referred to Boris Johnson as a "clown" during a heated text exchange with her aide, the UK Covid Inquiry heard.
These messages from the former Scottish First Minister were revealed, in particular, she found Johnson's announcement of a second lockdown in England "excruciating" and indicative of his "utter incompetence."

Frustration due to the perceived disarray in the UK government's handling of the pandemic was highlighted by Sturgeon's former chief of staff. Despite this, Johnson recalls a "friendly" relationship with Sturgeon.

Current First Minister Humza Yousaf acknowledged challenges with using messaging apps in government and poor management in responding to records requests.

Liz Lloyd, Sturgeon's former chief of staff, echoed the criticism and noted a decline in constructive interaction with Johnson during the pandemic. The inquiry learned that problems with communication had been flagged as early as March 2020.

Last week, the inquiry's counsel noted that Sturgeon appeared to have retained no messages, but some were later produced. Discussions about independence arose during cabinet preparations in 2020, inviting criticism of politicizing the pandemic; however, government representatives clarified that while considered, it was not pursued.

Yousaf admitted shortcomings in managing inquiry requests and messaging during his tenure as a minister. He also conceded to private venting about the Scottish Police Federation in text messages, which reflected tension with its leadership despite respect for frontline officers.

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