Nicola Sturgeon has branded the UK Government's 148-day Good Morning Britain ‘boycott’ as “disgraceful”.
Scotland's First Minister appeared on the ITV show on Wednesday morning to discuss Scotland's battle with Covid-19 following tough new restrictions being put in place.
Ms Sturgeon agreed with Piers Morgan that Tory ministers should end their ‘boycott’ of the breakfast show, which led to the GMB host calling her a “proper leader”.
Asked for her thoughts on the apparent snub, Ms Sturgeon said: “I think that is pretty disgraceful actually, particularly at a time like this.
"We can’t be on all the programmes all the time. There is a limited number of hours in the day.
“But generally speaking, particularly at a time like this, leaders have to be accountable. And not just accountable, we have to be explaining the decisions we are taking.
“We are asking people to do extraordinary things and if we are not prepared to explain the reasons for that, we can’t expect people to comply.”
Earlier in the interview, Ms Sturgeon had said a new Covid-19 “tipping point” has been reached requiring new restrictions in Scotland.
She told Good Morning Britain: “I’ve made a judgement that we are again at a tipping point with Covid.
“I’m looking at data that alarms me, frankly, and if we don’t act now, urgently and decisively, then we might find Covid running out of control again.
“So the judgement I’ve made, and it’s not an easy one, is that if we take tough action now we might actually manage to be under these restrictions for a shorter period of time than we will end up being if we delay that action.
“So these are tough judgements but I think, given the loss of life we know that Covid can result in, the health damage that it does, we’ve got to be prepared at moments like this, people like me, to take tough decisions, and to be prepared to do things even if they’re unpopular, for the greater good.”
Asked about the number of deaths in care homes, Ms Sturgeon said: “I’m sorry for every death that has occurred.”
She told Good Morning Britain: “These things will stay with me for the rest of my life, and the knowledge that decisions we took for the best of reasons, based on the information we had at the time… influenced all of these things – no leader worth their salt carries that lightly.
“I think if we can turn the clock back, there are things in many aspects of the handling of this pandemic, including in care homes, that we would undoubtedly do differently.
“We were dealing with a new virus, things like asymptomatic transmission we didn’t understand as well then as we do now and we’ve made a lot of changes along the way.
“And as we go into winter certainly a big preoccupation of mine and the Scottish Government is how do we protect people in care homes better perhaps than was done before.”