Scotland’s First Minister has delivered a staunch retort to critics following a row which has erupted over the Scottish Government’s flying over the Union Flag.
Nicola Sturgeon took to Twitter following claims that the Scottish Government will no longer fly the Union flag over dozens of public buildings on the Queen’s birthday and other royal events.
The row comes amid claims published guidance has been changed for 2018.
Critics say the Union flag has been previously flown above many of Scotland’s best-known public buildings and visitor attractions - but the Scottish Government said there had been no change in policy since 2010.
Ms Sturgeon said the claims she changed the policy are “nonsense” and said guidance has been updated to reflect long-standing practice.
She tweeted: “This is nonsense. It has been the practice to fly the Lion Rampant from government buildings on Royal occasions since 2010. There has been no change in policy or practice since then.”
She then accused Scottish Conservative leader Ruth Davidson of “fake news” for her intervention calling on the the Scottish Government to focus on raising standards not “lowering flags”.
However, Theresa May’s official spokesman said it was up to the SNP Government to explain why the Union flag was no longer being flown on important public dates such as the Queen’s Birthday. “It’s up to Nicola Sturgeon and the Scottish Executive to explain the reasons behind their decision,” the spokesman said. “The Prime Minister thinks [the Union flag] is an important symbol of our Union, and the Union is something that she believes in fiercely.”