Jeane Freeman insists ‘no one is exceptional’ after SNP MP Kenny MacAskill in lockdown row

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THE health secretary has weighed into the row over SNP MP Kenny MacAskill potentially breaking lockdown, saying “no one is exceptional and there are no exceptions” to the rules.

It emerged earlier this week that Mr MacAskill had repeatedly travelled between his East Lothian seat and his second home in Banffshire, despite telling constituents to stay put.

The former Justice Secretary said he and his family had moved to their Moray property at Christmas before the current lockdown began on December 26.

His spokesperson said he had twice returned to “for medical-related appointments” to East Lothian since, visiting his Dunbar office once “to collect a set of keys stored there”.

“On each occasion I followed the rules and guidance,” Mr MacAskill insisted.

However on Wednesday Nicoal Sturgeon revealed she had asked the SNP whips at Westminster to look into the matter and “provide me with details”.

She said: “Mr MacAskill has given an account of his travel, but I obviously want to understand the detail of that.

“I am not able to get into any more specifics around that, but what I will say and this applies to my travel and Boris Johnson’s travel, is none of us is exempt.”

The Scottish Tories have demanded a “thorough investigations to establish the full circumstances” of Mr MacAskill’s trips.

The row coincided with Ms Sturgeon sniping at Boris Johnson for making a “non-essential” visit to Scotland this week to visit a vaccine factory and promote the Union.

At today’s daily briefing, health secretary Jeane Freeman urged people to obey the spirt of the lockdown as well as the letter, and not to look for ways to bend the rules.

Asked whether Mr MacAskill had complied with the spirit of the rules, she initially failed to answer the question.

However, pressed on it by a second reporter, Ms Freeman said: “I’ve not personally looked at any of the details.

“What I do know is that the really, really strong message to all of us – there are no exceptions here – is stay at home and only leave home for essential purposes, work from home if you can. That is crystal clear.

“Everyone needs to comply with it.

“We’re asking the population of Scotland to do this yet again and they are and I am hugely grateful to them for it.

“There are no exceptions. No one’s exceptional and there are no exceptions to it.”

Leaving home for medical treatment is permitted under the lockdown rules.

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