AN EAST Linton resident is organising a ‘Clap for Nic’ event tomorrow evening (Friday), as a way to thank First Minister Nicola Sturgeon for her leadership during the coronavirus outbreak.

Howard Begg, 63, is inviting people to clap between 6pm and 6.10pm.

He came up with the idea, which he says is not going to be a weekly occurrence, last Thursday.

He said: “I want people to take part and do it to say thank you to Nicola for the way she has handled the outbreak and as a thank you for not being bullied by Westminster.

“She’s doing what she thinks is best for Scotland. She’s doing a good job.

“I think she needs recognition and appreciation for what she’s done. She’s looked at all of the advice and doing what she can.

“There has been an amazing response so far - it’s been incredible.”

But Labour councillor Norman Hampshire, ward member for Dunbar and East Linton and deputy leader of East Lothian Council, was not too impressed.

He said: “I don’t think this is something that should happen.

“I think the clap that takes place on a Thursday is there to respect frontline staff who endanger their lives every day. Nicola Sturgeon is not on the front line.

“Some of the decisions taken by the government, especially around care homes where people were moved from hospital to care homes without tests being done, and the virus then spreading in care home across Scotland… many people have died across Scotland.

“The respect people are showing for frontline staff, especially those who risk their lives every day during the crisis should continue.”

Mr Begg, who is volunteering to help those in need in his local community, added that the timeframe gives people an opportunity to take part when they might be busy doing other things, and not feel like they have missed out.

He said: “People can clap for a few minutes or 30 seconds or whatever they want.”