Nicola Sturgeon: 'There's not an anti-English bone in my body’

Nicola Sturgeon has insisted she does not have an "anti-English bone” in her body and insisted that her handling of the Coronavirus crisis is driven only by public health concerns.

Nicola Sturgeon said she is only motivated by public health concerns

The First Minister was quizzed about concerns raised by a Scottish clothing firm of "anti-English rhetoric" in Scotland during the pandemic, although this was not specifically attributed to Ms Sturgeon.

A small protest was staged on the Scottish border earlier this month calling on visitors from England to turn back amid fears about the spread of Coronavirus. The First Minister had warned she may be forced to impose quarantine on English visitors if case numbers diverge significantly north and south of the border.

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Ms Sturgeon said she hadn't seen the comments made by CCW Clothing founder at the daily Coronavirus briefing today.

But she said: "There's not an anti-English bone in my body, I don't have an anti-English fibre in my being.

"I come from partly English stock, my grandmother was English and I lead a party that is full of English people.

"We're dealing with a public health crisis right now. I think anybody who tries to say that the decisions we are taking in a public health sense are somehow political, constitutional or suggest in any way that an attitude towards people from other parts of the UK are just plain wrong.

"I would ask people to think carefully about any suggestion that type."

The founder of outdoor specialists CCW Clothing, which has branches in St Andrews, Fife, and Callander, Stirling, and in the West End of Glasgow recently raised concerns about the impact of business of recent tensions.

Liz Geddes warned nationalist rhetoric will put tourists off visiting Scotland and hit the business harder as it tries to recover from months of closure during the Coronavirus pandemic.

She said: "Some of the rhetoric against the English does not help.

"Our business is built on English and European visitors coming to Scotland and we make them welcome.

"We would not be in business if it were not for the English visitors. We are all in this together.

The First Minister pointed to many part of the world where "particular parts" of countries have had internal border closed to suppress the spread of the virus.

She added: "The worst think I can do for any business right now is to stop being cautious about controlling this virus.

"If we do stop being cautious, we risk again as we see in other parts of the country, a further shutdown of parts of the economy up to and including a potential lockdown. That will be even more devastating with potentially even more and longer term damage to the economy.

"So no business should be wanting me to drop that cautious approach because it is in all our interests , however difficult it is right now for businesses and I don't underestimate that, but if we don't build a sustainable recovery, then we don't have a recovery at all."

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