The SNP politician was grilled by Sky News’ Sophy Ridge who accused Nicola Sturgeon of trying to “having a cake and eating it” after the Scottish First Minister demanded Boris Johnson assigns her Government more funds to cope with coronavirus. The Sky News presenter told Ian Blackford: “Nicola Sturgeon said that she was underwhelmed by much of the infrastructure spending that the Prime Minister pledged this week because it didn’t include any bonus money for Scotland.
“Now, some people might be thinking you’re effectively asking for more money, more investment to deaL with coronavirus but at the same time having a more stringent lockdown in Scotland which could exacerbate the economic hit further.
“Isn’t that just, by asking for more money but also having a longer lockdown, isn’t that having a cake and eating it?”
The SNP MP replied: “No it’s not. It’s about accepting the responsibility of leadership.
“We can see that reflected in the Sunday Times poll today – a fantastic rating for the First Minister +60 and minus 29 for Boris Johnson.
SNP Ian Blackford grilled over Nicola Sturgeon’s coronavirus strategy
SNP: Ian Blackford told by Sophy Ridge Nicola Sturgeon wants her cake and eat it
“I think people are reflecting on the kind of measures that the Scottish Government has taken.
“Frankly when you look at the evidence and you see the prevalence rate of the virus, it’s a fifth of the rate in Scotland than it is in England.
“I think that caution that we have had in Scotland has been rewarded by that performance.”
It comes as Nicola Sturgeon has said she wants to “maximise alignment” on coronavirus but criticised the UK’s Government’s “shambolic” decision-making.
Now the Scottish leader is being urged by the aviation industry to make urgent decisions about air bridges to avoid damages.
The Scottish Passenger Agents’ Association (SPAA) said Scots could travel south of the border to fly from Newcastle or Manchester to go on holiday.
A decision on the list of countries which will have reduced travel restrictions is expected within the next few days.
Joanne Dooey, president of the SPAA, said: “Scotland’s aviation sector is at serious risk.
“Scotland needs its aviation sector and the Scottish Government needs to act decisively to prevent irreversible long-term damage to the economy.
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Nicola Sturgeon is being urged by the aviation industry to make urgent decisions
“Our aviation sector plays a critical role in connecting Scottish business to the world.
“This is not just about family holidays to Torremolinos being under threat – it’s about a whole sector of the Scottish economy being in immediate jeopardy.”
She added: “It’s hard to understand why the scientific advice is robust enough for the English traveller to be permitted to travel but not for the Scots traveller.
“It appears that a core list of ‘safe’ destinations has remained consistent so it’s hard to understand why these core destinations have not been given the go-ahead on Friday with additional destinations added as future decisions are made.”
A Scottish Government spokesman said: “The UK Government has announced a list of countries it intends to remove from quarantine restrictions, in relation to travel to England.
“Scottish ministers are actively considering the public health impact of these proposals, as well as the data and evidence underpinning them. Once they have done that they will announce any changes in relation to Scotland.
“We hope to conclude our analysis over the next few days and will announce our decisions quickly.”