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Sturgeon adviser rages about Union flag on beef mid-pandemic

One of Nicola Sturgeon’s right-hand women pushed civil servants to investigate the use of the Union flag on Scottish beef.

SNP special adviser Kate Higgins said on 8 September it was “not on” for Scottish beef to be sold with a Union flag on it.  

She added if Quality Meat Scotland (QMS), the public agency, were aware that Scotch beef was being marked as British “we have a problem.”

Her intervention came on the same day that the First Minister warned that Covid was “accelerating” across the country. She added: “I have reported three deaths today – that’s the first time I’ve had to do that in more than two months.”

Nicola Sturgeon asked on that day that everyone “treat the current situation with the seriousness it most certainly merits.”

After the SNP adviser pushed civil servants to investigate, QMS said Marks & Spencer had agreed to “review the fresh meat labelling”.

Scottish Conservative rural spokesman, Oliver Mundell MSP, said: “In the middle of a pandemic, it’s jaw-dropping that a key SNP Government adviser is furiously investigating how the Union flag ended up on a packet of meat.

“It’s an embarrassing reveal of the priorities of the SNP government. The big issue facing Scotland today is not the labelling of beef in Marks & Spencer.

“We are fighting a pandemic and 100,000 jobs are at risk. What will the Scottish public make of one of the First Minister’s key advisers complaining about flags on meat?

“I’m incredibly proud of Scottish produce but this is petty, small and trivial. The First Minister should explain if her government endorses this total waste of time.”

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