Sturgeon to face her ‘ferocious enemies’ after COVID-19 as SNP ruptures behind her back

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Jenny Hjul said the “prolonged imprisonment of the public” during the coronavirus lockdown in Scotland has “served another purpose” for the Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon but she warned “old politics will resume”. She said the past few months as SNP leader during the coronavirus pandemic will seem like a “doddle” in comparison to the challenges to reunite her party in the wake of the invisible killer disease.

Ms Hjul said the coronavirus pandemic had “becalmed Scotland” but not its “top separatist echelons”.

Writing for the Courier, Ms Hjul said: “For Sturgeon, now she has survived a few difficult days’ scrutiny over Scotland’s mishandling of the care homes crisis and an apparent COVID cover-up at a conference in Edinburgh, lockdown limbo is a win-win.

“A split with London, however manufactured, is always preferable to toeing the Tory line of Number 10.

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Nicola Sturgeon will face her ‘ferocious enemies’ it has been warned (Image: GETTY )

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Nicola Sturgeon is under pressure over her handling of the coronavirus (Image: GETTY )

“But mostly, the prolonged imprisonment of the public serves another purpose for the SNP leader.

“Once this is all over, and people start to pick up the pieces of their old lives, the old politics will also resume.

“The thought of this may be behind the reluctance of many Scots to emerge from hibernation. The pandemic has becalmed the nation to some extent, but not its top separatist echelons.

“Sturgeon knows that as soon as she has fought off the virus, she will have to face the more ferocious enemies in her own party, which is now split into two bitter camps. The past months will seem like a doddle.”

Ms Sturgeon has come under fire over the decision to discharge hospital patients into care homes before they had been tested.

The SNP leader admitted that with hindsight the Scottish Government may have made different decisions during the coronavirus pandemic including regarding care homes.

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Scotland has been on lockdown to fight the coronavirus (Image: GETTY )

Ms Sturgeon’s government was also accused of a coronavirus “cover-up” after its decision not reveal the identity of Scottish people who may have contracted the virus at a Nike conference at the beginning of the pandemic.

Pressure is also mounting on the SNP leader after she was accused of failing care home residents and staff when it emerged 43 percent of Scottish coronavirus deaths are linked to care homes, compared to around a quarter in England and Wales.

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Coronavirus cases live (Image: EXPRESS)

Ms Sturgeon has set out her route map to take Scotland out of lockdown – slightly differing from that of Boris Johnson’s plans.

Public health is a devolved responsibility so administrations in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland can choose different policies to Mr Johnson’s Government.

The nature of the lockdown restrictions has been broadly similar since March 23 but differences have started to become clear this month.

Ms Sturgeon last week outlined a four-phase path out of the lockdown, with the first beginning on Thursday.


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