LAST week, Nicola Sturgeon appeared in front of the UK Covid Inquiry to defend her Government’s handling of the pandemic.

At the meeting, it was revealed that a high-ranking Scottish civil servant had emailed Nicola Sturgeon, Humza Yousaf and other senior Scottish ministers with concerns about how a travel ban between Scotland and Spain would impact an independent Scotland’s membership of the European Union. The following day, SNP ministers decided to remove the travel ban with Spain, which they later reinstated just six days later.

The debate on Scotland’s constitutional future should not have featured in the Scottish Government’s pandemic response.

As well as potentially using the pandemic for political purposes, it is deeply regrettable that Sturgeon and her ministers carried out a digital bonfire of WhatsApp messages. She comprehensively deleted these messages despite a ‘do not destroy’ order being in place and having personally promised that she would not delete any messages.

During the pandemic, there was an understanding among senior ministers that there would be a public inquiry in Scotland. Nicola Sturgeon said explicitly that she would cooperate with it.

It is therefore not just to be regretted, but deeply wrong and frankly sickening, that she gave that commitment despite already knowing that she had deleted important messages.

Important questions remain unanswered and the Scottish Government have let down bereaved families.

We deserve more than the SNP’s secrecy and spin.