Scottish chief medical officer Catherine Calderwood flouts lockdown rules visiting second home

Pictures published on Sunday show the chief medical officer with her family at their second home

Pictures have emerged of Scotland’s chief medical officer Catherine Calderwood flouting her own lockdown guidance to visit her second home with family.

The images, published on Sunday by the Scottish Sun, show Dr Calderwood, 51, 44 miles away from her home in Edinburgh with other family members at their second home in Earlsferry, Fife.

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She was spotted walking across a golf course with her husband and kids, appearing to flout official guidance on this weekend.

The General Secretary of the Scottish Police Federation said her actions had made policing the coronavirus lockdown more difficult, and all four Scottish opposition parties called on Dr Calderwood to resign.

Scottish Government cabinet secretary Michael Russell called her actions were “ill-advised” and said she would be “held accountable” at a press conference this afternoon.

In a statement this morning, Dr Calderwood apologised and said she “did not follow the advice I am giving to others”, but said she would not resign.

A source, speaking to the Sun, accused the doctor of “dangerous double standards”.

Scottish chief medical officer Catherine Calderwood flouts lockdown rules visiting second homeScottish chief medical officer Catherine Calderwood flouts lockdown rules visiting second home
Scottish chief medical officer Catherine Calderwood flouts lockdown rules visiting second home

They added: “Either we are in lockdown or not? I’m pretty sure government advice is to stay at home and not to travel to second holiday homes.

“But Catherine Calderwood isn’t following the advice. She and her family are potentially bringing the virus to the area.”

In a series of tweets, Scottish Police Federation General Secretary Calum Steele said: “The job of policing during this Covid-19 epidemic just got that little bit harder this morning, and having crawled over the legislation when it was first published I can tell you categorically that checking on a second home is not one of the listed ‘reasonable excuses’ for being out of your own.

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“There are literally thousands of families climbing the walls of their own homes desperate for respite and would love to perambulate by the sea but don’t. We also have thousands of police making sure they don’t. You try being a police officer explaining that to someone today.”

Scottish Conservative leader Jackson Carlaw said: "Dr Calderwood's position is very difficult, untenable even, given the damage this has caused public trust.

“The vast majority of Scots are complying with official advice to stay home and protect our NHS. There cannot be one rule for the bosses and another one for everyone else.”

In a joint statement, Scottish Liberal Democrat leader Willie Rennie and Lib Dem MP Wendy Chamberlain, who both represent Northeast Fife, called on Dr Calderwood to resign.

“There is no doubt she has worked incredibly hard and led the country well through the early stages of this crisis,” they said. “Yet it it is difficult to see how she can continue to do that when she has made this massive error of judgement.

“Local people are irate that holiday makers and second home owners have ignored the warnings from the Chief Medical Officer to stay at home. The main street was described as being like a motorway and many second homes are full up. There is real concern that with a swollen population and a virus sweeping through the local health services will just not cope.

“If we are going to get through this pandemic we need medical leaders who everyone can follow. It is with great regret that we say that the Chief Medical Officer will need to go.”

On Thursday, Dr Calderwood joined thousands of others in Scotland and across the UK to clap for carers, an initiative set up to show the nation’s gratitude to frontline NHS workers putting their own lives at risk to help care for others.

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A clap takes place weekly from doorsteps and windows all over the UK.

She wrote on Twitter alongside the image of her family on the driveway clapping: “My family clapping my NHS & care colleagues - and me! Thank you all.”

A former SNP politician whipped up a social media storm after condemning Prince Charles’ decision to travel to Scotland as the actions of ‘an arrogant fool’ in March.

George Kerevan, who served as MP for East Lothian between 2015 and 2017, made the remarks after Clarence House revealed the Prince of Wales had tested positive for Covid-19.

A number of Scotland’s most remote and picturesque locations have issued a warning to potential tourists to stay away after a flurry of campervans and caravans turned up during the first weekend of lockdown.