Nicola Sturgeon enters EU vaccine row by threatening to publish data on supply

Nicola Sturgeon attending First Minister's Questions at the Scottish Parliament, Edinburgh. Picture

Nicola Sturgeon attending First Minister's Questions at the Scottish Parliament, Edinburgh. Picture date: Thursday January 28, 2021. - Credit: PA

Scotland's first minister Nicola Sturgeon has been accused of 'siding with the EU' after she threatened to publish confidential data on the supply of coronavirus vaccines, despite Number 10's plea for her to remain quiet.

The first minister said she was revealing the figures in response to taunts from the Scottish Tories that she is not rolling out the jab fast enough.

It comes at a time when Brussels is challenging AstraZeneca to explain why it is unable to fulfil its order of 300 million doses for the European Union.

The EU is calling for millions of doses are diverted after the firm announced a delay in delivery.

Sturgeon was goaded in the Scottish Parliament by the Tories' Holyrood leader Ruth Davidson for failing to deliver vaccines quick enough to the country.

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But she insisted that was not the case and was prepared to put the details in the public domain.

She told MSPs: "In terms of supply, I'm not going to go into detail about what we covered last week about us publishing the expected supply, the UK government demanding that we took that out of the public domain, but being quite happy to brief these figures through spin to the media. 

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"So I've said to my officials actually, regardless of what they say, I think we'll just go back to publishing the actual supply figures from next week so that we all have transparency around that."

A Whitehall source told the Herald: "The reason we didn't want to publish these figures was because everyone in the world wants these vaccines.

"If other countries see how much we are getting, they are likely to put pressure on the drug firms to give them some of our allocation."

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