This Morning: Andrew Neil’s comments on Scottish coronavirus vaccine rollout sparks row
A social media row has ignited after Andrew Neil claimed Scotland’s vaccine rollout had not been as successful as England’s.
In an interview on ITV’s This Morning, Mr Neil also argued that, despite claimed differences, Covid-19 policy across the UK was remarkably similar.
The former BBC journalist, who quit to become chairman of the upcoming media company GB News last year, said: "The vaccination rollout hasn't gone as well in Scotland as it has in England, on the other hand, the number of deaths from Covid per 100,00 people is lower in Scotland than it is in England.
"Overall, if you step back from it and you are to look at this country from the outside, you would conclude that for all the emphasis on the differences, policy overall in Scotland, England, Wales, Northern Ireland hasn't really been that different.”
He added: "It's had huge failures, like the care homes in the early days, and huge successes like the vaccine rollout we have now."
His comments came despite the fact that, last week, Scotland was reported to have vaccinated a higher proportion of residents than any other country in Europe.
One Twitter user complained: "Andrew Neil was incorrect about Scotland’s vaccine rollout performance, Scotland currently is the top performer in Europe."
Another told the broadcaster to “get your facts right”.
They added: “Scotland is leading the way and much better than England.”
In the This Morning interview, Mr Neil also claimed there was “no question” that First Minister Nicola Sturgeon was “perceived to be one step ahead” of her Downing Street counterpart.
“She is much better at the presentation than Boris Johnson is,” he said.
"She speaks straightly, coherently, in sentences, something the Prime Minister isn't always famous for.
But, the 71-year-old added, there was "a week or ten days in it most of the time” when it came to how long differences in policies between England and Scotland lasted.
Yesterday, Ms Sturgeon described Scotland’s vaccination programme as “outstanding”, in a statement to MSPs.
The First Minister said that 94 per cent of people aged between 70 and 79 had received their first dose, along with 58 per cent of those aged between 65 and 69.
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