Sturgeon described Boris Johnson as ‘excruciating’ and a ‘clown’ in expletive laden messages

Nicola Sturgeon called Boris Johnson “a f****** clown” in pandemic WhatsApp messages, an inquiry has heard.

The UK Covid-19 Inquiry was shown messages between the former Scottish first minister and her chief adviser Liz Lloyd, in which she strongly criticised the then prime minister when he was announcing another national lockdown on October 31, 2020.

In the messages, Ms Sturgeon said his address to the nation was “f****** excruciating” and that the UK Government’s communications were “awful”.

She also told Ms Lloyd (pictured): “His utter incompetence in every sense is now offending me on behalf of politicians everywhere.”

Ms Lloyd said she was “offended” on behalf of special advisers everywhere.

Ms Sturgeon replied: “He is a f****** clown.”

Giving evidence to the inquiry sitting in Edinburgh on Thursday, Ms Lloyd also denied that a decision about guest limits on weddings during the pandemic was made “on the hoof”.

The former chief of staff was shown messages exchanged on September 22, 2020, where Ms Sturgeon said: “We haven’t thought about weddings.”

Ms Lloyd responded to Ms Sturgeon, advising they should “just leave it” because the Scottish Government had “just put them (numbers of guests) up”.

A briefing which had been due to take place that day at 12.10pm was moved to 2.20pm, and the decision made on wedding and funeral numbers was to keep them at 20.

Junior counsel to the inquiry Usman Tariq asked Ms Lloyd: “Is this not an example of a decision that was made very much at the last minute over WhatsApp between you and Nicola Sturgeon?”

Ms Lloyd said she did not view this as making a decision because the decision had already been made in Cabinet.

She told the inquiry keeping numbers able to attend weddings the same was “more coherent” than changing them following her discussion with Ms Sturgeon.

Ms Lloyd said a decision taken to change numbers would be “on the hoof” but “sticking with a decision already taken was more coherent”.

Mr Tariq also asked Ms Lloyd if she and Ms Sturgeon had a “particularly close” relationship, to which she replied: “Certainly, yes.”

He then asked: “Is it fair to say you were one of her closest confidantes?”

Ms Lloyd answered: “Yes, I would say so.”

Ms Sturgeon will appear at the inquiry next Wednesday.

Current First Minister Humza Yousaf will give evidence to the inquiry later on Thursday amid ongoing scrutiny over messages exchanged by ministers and officials during the pandemic.

Copyright (c) PA Media Ltd. 2024, All Rights Reserved. Picture (c) The UK Covid-19 Inquiry.