On social media, the owners of a bar where First Minister Nicola Sturgeon was pictured at a wake without a face mask admitted they had been insulted.
After she was seen without a face mask at a wake, a photo of Ms. Sturgeon appeared in a national newspaper last week.
In Mortonhall, Edinburgh, where the image was taken, some took to social media to condemn workers and call for a boycott of The Stable Bar and Restaurant.
The First Minister apologised to the public and the apology was accepted by the Scottish Parliament and her political opponents.
It has now emerged that the photograph was taken by a client, referred to as a “chancer” by a staff member, and the First Minister had responded “for just a few seconds” to being embraced by three senior women.
Nicola Sturgeon at Holyrood apologizes for breaking the law of the face mask
Owners Iain and Fiona Dempster told The National of their frustration at the resulting bullying on social media and demands for their pub to be closed to our pro-independence sister title.
Mr. Dempster said, “It really upset my wife and our staff, especially at the time,”
“A staff member at The Stable said, “It changed things a little deal by getting the First Minister. She came in with a face mask, like everybody else, but she was instantly noticed.
“When she came in, she welcomed all the bar workers. As per the rules, there were 20 people at the funeral, and they were in the event area that we call the Saddle Room, which is a little upstairs.
“She spoke to everyone in the room and finally sat down, took off her mask and had a cup of tea—not even half a cup, actually.
Then she put back on her mask and went down the stairs. When three customers waved and called her, she was just outside the entrance. So, as always, she was polite and went over to talk to them.
“There was no one near her and no one on the table next to the ladies and we think what happened is one or more of the ladies couldn’t hear her properly and she took off her mask for a few seconds to say hello,” she said.
“She made a mistake, indeed, but when she stepped out the door, she definitely had her mask on.
Let’s put it this way: if she had been noticed by anyone on staff, they would have asked her to put her mask back on.
The way it was, these days everyone has a camera, and it’s just a case of a chancer using a camera on his mobile phone.
“We were all upset when the picture surfaced, and even more so when people on Twitter called for it to be shut down – they obviously didn’t know who was running the business.”
‘It is not like she went to test her eyesight at Stirling Castle.’ -Reaction to the fracturing of the Sturgeon mask.
The owners said they were upset that a “random customer” caused them and their employees to be trolled on social media.
Mr. Dempster said, “In this terrible time for hospitality, a random customer took the photo and presumably sold it, not caring about the consequences and backlash for a family-run business or its hard-working employees.”
As always, Nicola was a gem and listened to our staff and several clients, which must have been rough for her because she had just come from a funeral, but that’s what we’re expecting from her.
Yeah, she broke the law, but she only walked out the door for a few seconds, and she turned only to say hello to the three ladies. There was no one else around her and she kept her social isolation.
When the Scottish government lifts the new restrictions, the Stable Bar and Restaurant will reopen. “Everyone should do what Nicola Sturgeon asks,” Mr. Dempster said. “That’s the only way we’re going to beat this virus.”