Nicola Sturgeon refuses to come clean on 'deleted' WhatsApp messages during Covid

Nicola Sturgeon wearing mask

14,000 messages are set to be disclosed to the UK Covid inquiry

Holly Bishop

By Holly Bishop

Published: 31/10/2023

- 18:47

Updated: 31/10/2023

- 19:47

Sturgeon says she has 'nothing to hide'

Nicola Sturgeon says she has “nothing to hide” from the ongoing Covid inquires, after it emerged that senior Scottish government officials deleted their WhatsApp messages concerning the pandemic.

The former First Minister has refused to say whether she has deleted WhatApp messages during the pandemic.

14,000 messages are set to be disclosed to the UK Covid inquiry.

News reports over the weekend suggested that Sturgeon’s messages had been wiped, along with First Minister Humza Yousaf’s and former Deputy First Minister John Swinney.

WATCH NOW: Nicola Sturgeon's Whatsapp messages during pandemic 'deleted'

Sturgeon has rejected claims that the Scottish government used the app to discuss key Covid decisions.

She has also stated that she was not a member of any WhatsApp groups.

Around 70 individuals are understood to be involved in around 137 WhatsApp groups.

Shona Robinson, deputy First Minister, confirmed that thousands of messages would be handed over as part of evidence to the inquiry.


Robison told MSPs that policies had been followed at all time.

She said that published documents from November 2021, after the commitment to hold an inquiry was made, encouraged MSPs to delete “business conversations” within a month.

Just one individual involved – former Health Secretary Jeane Freeman – has supplied messages. However, they are not complete, according to the Daily Record.

Scottish Labour Deputy Leader Jackie Baillie has criticised the SNP for the missing messages, accusing the party of being untrustworthy.

Humza YousafHumza Yousaf's WhatsApp messages have also been deletedPA

She said: “These bombshell revelations call into question what the SNP government is trying to hide.

“Humza Yousaf said his government would co-operate fully with the Covid inquiries, but this promise has been left in tatters.

“If the top brass of the SNP has been destroying evidence it is a gross betrayal of bereaved families fighting for justice and an insult to all the Scots who made sacrifices during the pandemic.

“The same old SNP culture of secrecy and cover-up isn’t good enough – we need total transparency throughout these inquiries so we can get the answers Scotland deserves.”

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