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Highland MSP hits back after Jason Leitch brands him ‘rude’ in WhatsApp message to Humza Yousaf

By Scott Maclennan

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National Clinical Director Jason Leitch.
National Clinical Director Jason Leitch.

Jason Leitch lashed out at Highland MSP Edward Mountain for being “rude” and “head-shaking and harrumphing like a child” in a briefing to MSPs

The Scottish Government’s National Clinical Director of Healthcare Quality and Strategy is under fire after giving evidence to the UK Covid Inquiry in Edinburgh.

In the exchange with then health secretary and current First Minister, Humza Yousaf, Professor Leitch messaged: “Just done MSP briefing. They were mostly fine. Very reasonable and predictable. Edward Mountain rude and Daniel Johnson a smart a***. Otherwise fine."

Mr Yousaf responded: “Doesn't surprise me about Mountain or DJ frankly. Paul Sweeney will also be one to watch, he will tell you how to do your job."

Then returning to the theme, Prof Leitch added: “My Mum taught me never to be rude. Mountain was head shaking and harrumphing....like a child.”

The exchange as published by the UK Covid inquiry.
The exchange as published by the UK Covid inquiry.

Mr Mountain said: “My job wasn’t to be subservient to the Scottish Government – it was to represent the views and concerns of my constituents.

“Ministers and officials should have spent less time worrying about their sensitivities and more time working to tackle the virus.

“These petulant exchanges reflect very poorly on Jason Leitch and the First Minister.”

Now Scottish Conservative chairman Craig Hoy has called for Prof. Leitch to "resign or be fired."

He said: "It is totally inappropriate that a supposedly impartial health advisor was behaving like a fully paid-up member of the SNP during the pandemic."

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