A data watchdog has raised concerns about Sturgeon’s right-hand man’s anti-English’spin.’
After a “deliberate spin” of data, the SNP’s Covid Recovery Minister has been reported to a statistic watchdog.
Due to the rapid spread of the Omicron variant, Covid cases have risen across the UK, prompting Nicola Sturgeon to impose restrictions on Scots.
Despite the fact that Scotland has had fewer cases than England, experts say it is in the “worst-case scenario” with the variant.
On Thursday, John Swinney, who is also the SNP deputy first minister, appeared on BBC Radio Scotland’s Good Morning Scotland to praise Scotland’s success in combating Covid.
On the show, he claimed that because of extra measures implemented north of the border, Covid rates in Scotland were lower than in England.
Mr Swinney cited figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS), which showed that one out of every 40 Scots was infected, compared to one out of every 25 in England.
He went on to say that the figures were “the strongest evidence” that the Scottish measures were protecting the population from Covid.
Following the broadcast, it was revealed that the figures Mr Swinney was referring to were from before the Scottish Government imposed restrictions.
Mr Swinney has since been reported to the UK Statistics Authority by Scottish Labour deputy leader Jackie Baillie, who wrote that she was “deeply concerned” to hear the statistics allegedly being misrepresented.
“I am deeply concerned to hear John Swinney MSP, Deputy First Minister and Cabinet Secretary for Covid Recovery, incorrectly use statistics from before the festive period to suggest that restrictions across Scotland, imposed by the Scottish Government, resulted in only 1 in 40 Scots contracting COVID-19, compared to 1 in 25 in England,” she wrote to the watchdog’s chairman, Sir David Norgrove.
“In making this false claim, the Deputy First Minister cited a COVID-19 Infection Survey published by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) on December 31, 2021.”
“The data was collected during the week of December 23rd, 2021, when there were no restrictions in place and the rules in Scotland and England were largely the same.
In reality, according to the most recent ONS infection survey, 1 in every 20 Scots has contracted COVID-19 for the week ending December 31, 2021.
“These figures stand in stark contrast to Mr Swinney’s narrative on BBC Radio Scotland’s Good Morning Scotland on Tuesday morning.”
“Public trust in the actions of the Scottish Government is of paramount importance,” Ms Baillie said of her decision to report Mr Swinney.
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